No fancy egg poachers or moulds are needed to produce a perfect result – simply use a really fresh egg laid by a happy, lazy duck or hen. The tips you hear about putting the vinegar in the water are really only valid for eggs that aren’t so fresh – if you have a fresh, organic egg, the albumen is strong enough to hold together. And in my
book, what could possibly be the point of poaching an egg that wasn’t any good to start with?.
Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Reduce the heat, swirl the water, crack the egg into a tiny bowl or a cup, and slip the egg gently into the whirlpool in the centre. This avoids getting the tips of your fingers burned as you drop the egg into the water. The water should not boil again but bubble very gently just below boiling point. Cook for about 3–4 minutes, until the white is set and the yolk is still soft and runny.
Meanwhile, make a slice of toast. Cut off the crusts, butter the toast and pop it onto a hot plate. Lift out the poached egg or eggs on a perforated spoon; drain and place on top of the toast. Serve immediately.
Or you can poach the eggs ahead of time and then reheat them briefly in boiling water. Just cook them for a minute less than usual, and then slip them into a bowl of cold water to stop them from cooking further.
To reheat the poached eggs, bring a saucepan of water to the boil, draw off the heat and slip the egg back into the water for a minute or two until hot through.