Poached eggs served on grilled English muffins are my favorite easy to make breakfast. Many cooks are intimidated by poached eggs but with a little knowledge anybody can create beautiful poached eggs. The secret is to use the freshest eggs possible to keep the egg from spreading out. If the eggs are a little older add a little vinegar to the poaching liquid to help the egg congeal quicker. If the eggs are too old (over 10 days old), use them for scrambled eggs or an omelet. Julia Child would punch a pin hole through one end of the egg and boil for ten seconds to help set the white. You can try this and see if it helps.
4 large fresh eggs
White wine vinegar (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
10 inch Skillet
Small shallow bowl
Fill a 10 inch skillet with water at least an inch deep and heat on medium high heat until the water begins to simmer. Turn the heat down to medium to maintain a simmer. If the eggs are a little older you can add 1 to 2 Tablespoons of white wine vinegar to the water to help the eggs firm up.
Break an egg into a small shallow bowl and transfer to the simmering water, the first at 12 o’clock. Repeat with rest of the eggs; the second at 3 o’clock and the third and fourth at 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock respectively.
Run a spatula under each egg to free each from the bottom of the skillet. Baste with hot water, if any of the egg is above the water. Cook until done, 4 minutes for a runny yolk, 6 minutes for a medium yolk or 8 minutes for fully set hard yolk. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a clean kitchen towel. You can trim any frayed edges of white with a knife and serve immediately. Tip: To precook multiple eggs, poach for 4 minutes and transfer to an ice bath to cool down. To reheat transfer to barely simmering water for one minute to warm through.