Poached Eggs

What is more wonderful than a poached egg?  Many things, perhaps, but not when you’ve been traveling, or you’re in a hurry, or your child has a performance and you’ve got one hour to make and serve a decent meal.  Or really at any time at all when you want something delicious and fast.

That is the case for me now. I’m just back from a most amazing trip to Asheville, where I taught the best of the best (you know who you are!), and poached eggs were on the menu. I love them atop a salad, a puree of just about any vegetable or, my real favorite, on a well-toasted, heavily buttered slice of bread.  Any of these combinations makes a good meal.  To help you recreate this I made a quick video demonstration.  I hope you’ll follow along.

Here are the written instructions too, to help you make a foolproof poached egg:

dated eggs
Dated eggs from my friend Louis’ hens…

Buy the best large eggs you can find.  They should be at room temperature, and honestly, not JUST out of the chicken. Here, we say an egg should be at least a week “old” before it’s ready to be used. That’s why eggs in France – whether they’re laid commercially or in someone’s garden – are dated.

Break an egg into a small bowl so you can slip it easily into the water.

Bring a good-sized saucepan of water to a boil over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of white wine or regular white vinegar – this helps the egg white solidify and stick with the yolk. You can use red if that’s what you’ve got – it just adds a little color to the egg.

Reduce the heat so the water is boiling vigorously but not explosively, and pour the egg right into the whorl, where the bubbles come up from the bottom of the pan and create a little bubbly mound on top of the water.  The egg will fly around the pan, so you can add others to the whorl – up to four at a time, depending on the size of your pan.  Spoon the egg white up around the yolk if necessary – sometimes a very fresh egg will not hold together well, so you need to help it along.

When the yolk is to your liking – for soft, 2 minutes –  remove the egg with a slotted spoon, and transfer it to a plate lined with a cotton towel or, if you want to eat it immediately, set the slotted spoon on the towel and tap it gently so the water comes off the egg.  Watch a video on poaching eggs here


Proceed to your glorious poached egg, after seasoning it generously with salt and pepper.

Bon Appétit!

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