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How to poach the perfect egg

With Glenn Harris, executive chef and co-owner of Jane and The Smith

By Jordana Rothman
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The task: Poaching an egg
The pro: Glenn Harris, executive chef and co-owner of Jane and The Smith (55 Third Ave between 10th and 11th Sts, 212-420-9800)

Poaching an egg: Step 1

Illustration: Atsuhiro Saisho

Step 1
Boil a large pot of water, bring it down to a simmer (170° is ideal) and add one ounce of distilled white vinegar per gallon of liquid. The vinegar will help the egg white set around the yolk.

Poaching an egg: Step 2

Illustration: Atsuhiro Saisho

Step 2
Rather than dropping the egg directly into the pot, which can break the yolk, crack it into a small, shallow bowl. This will allow you to control the speed at which the egg hits the water.

Poaching an egg: Step 3

Illustration: Atsuhiro Saisho

Step 3
Dip a slotted spoon into the pot and stir to create a whirlpool effect. This motion keeps the egg from settling and flattening on the bottom of the pot.

Poaching an egg: Step 4

Illustration: Atsuhiro Saisho

Step 4
Bring the lip of the bowl to the surface of the water and quickly tip the egg into the pot, aiming for the whirlpool’s center. Once the whites are no longer translucent—after about two minutes—the egg is ready to eat.

Poaching an egg: Step 5

Illustration: Atsuhiro Saisho

Step 5
Carefully remove the egg with the slotted spoon, holding it over a tea cloth to catch the dripping water. Deposit the egg carefully onto your dish, and serve immediately.

Tip
The newer the egg, the easier it is to poach. A farm-fresh egg, for instance, is more likely to keep its shape than one that’s spent a while in the fridge, and requires little or no vinegar.

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