7 Dishes Delivering You Poached Perfection

Poaching is a wonderful way to prepare your food: It prevents it from toughening, cuts fat, and enhances flavor. The Reluctant Gourmet explains that this cooking method uses the least amount of heat, resulting in a gradual cooking process. You can poach foods such as eggs, meat, poultry, fish, seafood, and fruit. Whats4Eats recommends using plain water, chicken stock, wine, or a mixture of the three when you’re poaching. It isn’t a hard process by any means, but it does take some patience. However, it will be worth the wait once you bite into these perfectly poached breakfasts, dinners, and desserts. Here are 7 recipes to get you started.

Source: iStock

1. Poached Eggs

Jamie Oliver’s recipe, which can be found in Jamie’s Ministry of Food via JamieOliver.com, delivers a palate-pleasing poached egg that is superbly soft in the middle and bursting with fresh flavors. In just 10 minutes, you can create a fairly simple and delicious breakfast for two. This recipe will turn out best if you use the freshest eggs possible.

Ingredients:

  • Sea salt
  • 4 large, free-range eggs

Directions: Get a wide, casserole-type pan and fill it with boiling water from the kettle. Bring it to a light simmer over a medium heat and add a pinch of sea salt. Crack one of your eggs into a cup and gently pour it into the water in one fluid movement. Repeat with the rest of the eggs. You’ll see them begin to cook immediately; don’t worry if the edges look a little scruffy. Depending on your pan, a really soft poached egg should take around 2 minutes and a soft to firm one will need 4 minutes.

To check whether they’re done, remove one carefully from the pan with a slotted spoon and give it a gentle push with a teaspoon. If it feels too soft, put it back and give the eggs a minute or two more in the water to firm up. When they’re ready, remove them to some kitchen paper to dry off and serve with buttered toast and a sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Source: iStock

2. Poached Eggs on Toasted Baguette With Goat Cheese and Black Pepper Vinaigrette

With Cooking Channel’s recipe, you can take your poached eggs to a whole new level by pairing them with a baguette and zesty vinaigrette. This unbelievably easy-to-make dish can be enjoyed as a hearty breakfast or flavorful lunch. It yields 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • Baguette, sliced lengthwise
  • Olive oil, to brush
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • 2 thinly sliced heirloom tomatoes
  • 4 large eggs, poached
  • 1 cup micro arugula
  • Black Pepper-Tarragon Vinaigrette
  • Fresh chervil leaves, to garnish

Black Pepper-Tarragon Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions: Heat a grill pan and broiler. Brush the halved baguette with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Put the bread onto a hot grill pan and grill cut-side down over high heat. Remove the grilled bread and spread the top of the bread with the goat cheese. Place the bread under the broiler and broil until the cheese is lightly golden brown. Top each slice of bread with a few slices of tomato and a poached egg.

Put the micro arugula in a bowl and toss with a few tablespoons vinaigrette and season with salt and black pepper. Top each egg with some of the greens and drizzle with more of the vinaigrette. To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, tarragon, and salt in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. Whisk in the honey and black pepper.

Source: iStock

3. Poached Chicken Breasts

About.com explains that poached chicken breasts are easy to prepare and can add fantastic flavor to salads, enchiladas, pot pies, and pastas. However, Martha Stewart’s recipe proves poached chicken also works well as your meal’s centerpiece. It yields 2 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves
  • 1 medium carrot, halved crosswise
  • 1 medium rib celery, halved crosswise
  • 3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

Directions: Place chicken in a pot just large enough to hold chicken breast halves and add enough water to cover by 1-inch. Add carrot, celery, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, and salt. Bring just to a simmer over medium-high heat where bubbles start forming around the edge of the pot. Reduce to medium-low to keep temperature constant, about 170 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cook, skimming foam from the surface until they reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a heat-proof bowl and strain the liquid over the chicken and let the chicken breasts cool. This will keep them moist and tender. Refrigerate until ready to use, up to 3 days. Separate meat from the bones and cut as desired.

Source: iStock

4. Poached Salmon II

This AllRecipes.com dish is simple to make and turns out marvelously moist. Feel free to substitute lemon juice for the wine when you’re preparing your poached salmon. It yields 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 pounds salmon fillets, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1½ teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1½ teaspoons chopped garlic
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: Heat wine and water over medium-high heat in a large non-stick skillet for 5 minutes. Slide salmon pieces into poaching liquid and dot with butter. Sprinkle with dried parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper. Bring to a slow boil, reduce heat to medium and poach until salmon flesh is firm, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Source: iStock

5. Cider-Poached Pears With Yogurt and Toasted Almonds

Looking for an elegant dessert that’s both delectable and healthy? Serious Eats’ Cider-Poached Pears With Yogurt and Toasted Almonds is an indulgent-tasting dish that’s low in calories and serves up a hearty dose of protein and fiber. The recipe yields 4 servings, with each containing 120 calories, 4 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • ½ freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthways
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 Bosc pears, peeled, halved, and cored
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • ½ cup 2 percent Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1½ tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted (or your choice of nuts)

Directions: In a small pan over medium-high heat, bring cider, orange juice, vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, and star anise to a boil. Place pears face down in the pan. Lower heat and simmer gently until a knife inserted into the pears meets no resistance, about 10-20 minutes. Once pears are tender, kill heat and let cool in pan. Remove to serving plates and set aside. Over medium heat, reduce remaining poaching liquid to a glaze. Pour over pears. Mix orange zest with yogurt. Dollop equally on pears. Sprinkle almonds over yogurt. Serve.

Source: iStock

6. Poached Fruit With Clove Granite And Cookies

Pears, figs, oranges, sweet seasonings, cookies, and wine work together to create this poached fruit dessert by The New York Times. This is a sensational treat that’s perfect for dinner parties and intimate get-togethers. It yields 10 servings.

Ingredients:

Fruit and Granite

  • 2 bottles light dessert wine
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • 12 cloves
  • 10 firm Bartlett pears, peeled
  • 2 cups dried Mission figs, stemmed
  • 6 oranges

Cookies

  • 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate

Directions: To poach the fruit, combine the wine, sugar, and cloves in a large wide pot. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and add the pears and figs. Simmer until pears are soft but not falling apart, about 15 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, use a paring knife to remove all peel and pith from the oranges. Cut the sections out from between the membranes. Add the sections and simmer 1 minute. Remove the fruit from the liquid with a slotted spoon, place in a bowl and let cool. Cover and refrigerate. Let the syrup stand until cool and strain into a shallow, non-reactive pan.

Place in the freezer until firm throughout, stirring from time to time. To make the cookies, pulse the hazelnuts in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Add the flour, salt, and sugar and process until nuts are ground and mixture is well-mixed. Add the butter and pulse to combine. Add the egg and milk and process just until the dough begins to come together. Press the dough together and divide it in half. Shape into cylinders, about 1¾ inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. If the dough is very cold, let stand at room temperature until firm but not too hard. Cut the dough across into ⅛-inch slices and place on the baking sheets about 1 inch apart. Cookies must be baked in batches. Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Cool. Melt the chocolate and dip half of each cookie in the chocolate. Set aside and let dry completely. To serve, arrange the pears, figs, and oranges in 10 shallow bowls. Use a spoon to scrape the granite into mounds and place a mound in each bowl. Serve immediately, passing the cookies separately.

Source: iStock

7. Poached Apples With Vanilla Yogurt

To create a tantalizing treat, Livestrong recommends poaching apples that are firm and at their peak ripeness, meaning fall is a fantastic time to make this fruit-filled dish. Bon Appétit’s Poached Apples With Vanilla Yogurt are filled with sensational sweetness, fabulous flavors, and stunning seasonings. This dessert dish yields 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups fruity red wine
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 (3-by-1-inch) strips orange peel (white pith trimmed)
  • 1 (3-by-1-inch) strip of lemon peel (white pith trimmed)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 4 medium Pink Lady, Golden Delicious, or Braeburn apples, peeled, cored
  • 1 cup 2 percent Greek-style yogurt
  • 1½ tablespoons honey
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

Directions: Combine wine, sugar, orange juice, orange peel, lemon peel, cinnamon stick, star anise, and 2 cups water in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add apples; reduce heat to low and simmer, occasionally rotating apples, until tender when pierced with a sharp knife, 25-30 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer apples to a plate and set aside.

Strain poaching liquid in pan into a small saucepan, discarding solids in strainer. Set saucepan over medium-high heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until poaching liquid is syrupy and reduced to about ¾ cup, 10-15 minutes. Combine yogurt and honey in a small bowl. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; whisk until the yogurt sauce is smooth and well-blended. Divide yogurt sauce among plates. Place warm apples on top. Drizzle syrup over.

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