Difficulty Rating; Easy (but it’s important to time the eggs confidently)
Time needed; 10 minutes
Chris’s reason for choosing this recipe; to show you how easy it is to poach an egg
Chris regularly eats poached eggs for breakfast and has done for the last 15 years. One of his pet hates is how difficult many cooks and chefs make it seem. Vinegar? Vortexes? Bowls of iced water? As far is Chris is concerned, you don’t need any of these things to successfully poach an egg. In Chris’s words; ‘you can mess around as much as you like getting your eggs to look perfect. But you don’t need to do any of that – poached eggs are very straight forward and everybody – and I mean everybody – can poach eggs’. The only thing you do need is confidence in getting your timings right.
Chris has been nicknamed the ‘egg king’ and can knock out 2, 4, 6 or 8 poached eggs at a time – all you need is a big enough pan! He is passionate about free range eggs and is lucky enough to have neighbours who keep chickens. Eggs are a cheap, protein-rich, tasty ingredient, the perfect breakfast to power Chris through his busy working day as a brewer.
For this recipe you will need a shallow pan such as a frying or sauté pan. This method is based on using large eggs and the idea is to use the toaster as a timing mechanism. The format is toast down, eggs in; when the toast is done, the eggs will be almost ready. No messing!
- Set a shallow pan (frying pan or saute pan) of water on to boil.
- Grab a couple of slices of bread (as many as you need for each person).
- When the water is boiling turn the pan down to barely a simmer.
- Pop the toast down in the toaster.
- Carefully crack the eggs into the water. Keep the shells close to the water when doing this, don’t drop them in from a great height – this keeps the eggs together in a ‘neater’ shape. Chris doesn’t care about neat eggs for aesthetic reasons but the closer the white stays to the yolk, the better it will protect the yolk from overcooking.
- This is the crucial bit. When your toast is done your eggs should be very nearly done, so quickly butter your toast.
- Using a slotted spoon, lift an egg gently out of the water (lift the eggs out in the order you dropped them in). Give it a gentle wobble to make sure the white is set. If the white is still a bit runny put it back in for a few more seconds. You can also gently prod the egg with a clean finger to make sure the white is set, but yolk is runny. Once the white feels set but the yolk is still wobbly the eggs are done.
- Serve immediately on toast, on their own, or with any accompaniment you fancy – black pudding, bacon, mushrooms, smoked salmon…
REMEMBER! To get this recipe right the timing is the crucial factor. This particular method uses large eggs and bread toasted to a medium colour. Deviating from toast colour or egg size will alter the timings!