You might think that poaching an egg is the simplest thing in the world - it is.
But achieving the perfect poached egg certainly isn't.
I've had so many disasters over the years, I'm surprised I can even look an egg in the eye (or shell) these days, never mind poach them.
White and yolks separating, the white looking like the tail of Halley's Comet, a hard yolk, an almost raw white, I've experienced them all.
So I made it my mission in life to produce the perfect poached egg like the ones you are served in restaurants and good cafes for breakfast,
No poacher pans or rubber pods you float in the water. Once I even tried submerging an egg in the simmering water for 30 seconds to 'set' the egg before cracking. Disaster!
So this is the method I use these days, which gives very consistent results, and in my eyes, the perfect poached egg.
There is just one caveat. If your egg is fresh it will poach perfectly. If it isn't, it will resemble a supernova from the Big Bang!
Heat a two-thirds full pan of water to simmering point. Don't boil the water, once you see the bottom of the pan covered in bubbles, hold it there.
With a whisk (not a spoon), create a vortex in the pan and pour the egg right in the centre of the swirling whirlpool.
The egg will wrap around itself to give nice tight oval shape. Leave for 3 minutes (depending on egg size), remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
When I'm cooking more than one egg, I just drop them into a large bowl of iced water. This quickly stops the eggs cooking and you can keep them in the fridge for hours.
When your guests are all ready and down for breakfast, all you need to do is pop them into a pan of hot water for a minute to heat through.
see Duck Confit Hash.....