Farm fresh eggs are the best for poaching. The egg whites are nice and tight so there’s less spread in the pan. For an older egg, a dash of white vinegar in the cooking water helps coagulate the egg white.
The key is to poach the egg until the white is set and the egg yolk is runny, which means temperature control and timing. If you prefer a firm yolk, a little more time at the controlled temperature is all that is required.
1 to 4 large eggs
Fill a low rimmed saucepan or a straight-sided skillet with cold water, high enough to cover the tops of the eggs. Add almost a capful of white vinegar and bring to a full boil.
Place a couple of folded paper towels by the side of the stove to briefly drain the cooked eggs on before plating.
Crack up to 4 eggs in a small bowl, slide the eggs into the hot water and immediately lower the heat to the gentlest of simmers. Cook for 2 minutes 30 seconds for a runny yolk or 3 minutes for a firm yolk. The key to success here is the gentle simmer, a rapid boil is harsh, and the eggs are easily ruined by the turbulent water.
Use a mesh skimmer spoon and gently scoop up all the eggs together. Rest the bottom of the skimmer spoon on the paper towels to drain for a couple of seconds and then slide onto your plate.
Sprinkle a wee bit of kosher salt and ground pepper over the eggs and dig in.
Keywords: poached eggs, eggs, poaching