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Poaching

Egg spaghetti with Serrano wrapped Asparagus
Egg spaghetti with Serrano wrapped Asparagus

Poaching – or cooking food in simmering liquid – is an easy and useful method of keeping a wide variety of dishes moist and delicious. Most people are familiar with poached eggs, but many do not realize you can poach nearly any type of food, including meat, fish, poultry, fruits, and vegetables.

The Basics of Poaching Food

To poach, all you need is a pot, some liquid, food, and a stove top. The pot should be big enough to easily accommodate the food that’s cooking, plus enough liquid to cover that food. If the pot is too small, the food won’t cook properly, so don’t cram the pot full.

Although water is fine for poaching, using a more flavorful alternative results in tastier food. Stock, bouillon, broth, or wine are better choices (and can be mixed with each other).

A common mistake when poaching is to boil the food. Instead, the food should barely simmer.

How to Poach Eggs

This is one case where using water as the poaching liquid is perfectly satisfactory. Add some vinegar to the water to help keep the whites in tact; use about 1 teaspoon for every 2 or 3 cups of water. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat until the water is just simmering. Crack an egg and gently slide it (sans shell) into the liquid. Cov er until cooked to your preference. Typically, it takes about 3 minutes for medium firmness and about 2 minutes if you want the eggs a bit runny. Remove the egg from the pot with a slotted spoon.

How to Poach Meat, Poultry, Fish, and Vegetables

Fill a pot with enough liquid to completely cover the food. If poaching poultry, breasts work best. Large pieces of meat rarely poach well.

Bring the liquid to a boil. Add the food and reduce the heat so the liquid simmers slightly. Poach until the meat is cooked through. 8 oz. of fish takes only about 10 minutes to cook, while 8 oz. of chicken takes about 15 to 20 minutes.

How to Poach Fruit

Combine 2 cups white wine (spirits work, too), 1 cup granulated sugar, and 5 cups of water in a saucepan. Add some spices (for example, 5 or 6 cinnamon sticks and 2 strips of citrus peel). Stir until the sugar dissolves completely. Place the peeled fruit in the pan, very gently; the liquid should completely cover the fruit. If the fruit floats, place a piece of cheesecloth over the fruit and a heat proof plate that’s small enough to fit inside the pan on top of cheesecloth; this will weigh the fruit down. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat so it just simmers. Cook until the fruit is tender, but not so soft it starts falling apart. Remove from the liquid with a slotted spoon.

 

Overview of our healthy easy poaching recipes

Calf Head by Harald Wohlfahrt

Calf Head

Duck of Challans from la ferte region by Philippe Gravouille

Duck of Challans from la ferte region

Eggs with fresh mushrooms by Jean Bardet

Eggs with fresh mushrooms

Foie gras pot au feu with celery by Etienne Krebs

Foie gras pot au feu with celery

Mackerel with Cider Vinegar by Hotels Lucien Barriere Deauville

Mackerel with Cider Vinegar

Peaches in english cream and kirsch (White sin amandine in bloom crusty) by Mario d'Orio

Peaches in english cream and kirsch...

Pear with wine, vanilla ice-cream and pepper by Beatrice et Jacques Ribourel (David Moreno)

Pear with wine, vanilla ice-cream and...

Prawn with fennel, vanilla and verbena by Roger Souvereyns

Prawn with fennel, vanilla and verbena

Roasted white figs with almond ice-cream by Arthur Dorshner

Roasted white figs with almond ice-cream

Roe deer fillet with pear in red vine, beet, and herbs by Roger Souvereyns

Roe deer fillet with pear in red vine,...

Squash Blossoms with Sage Butter and Ricotta by Roger Souvereyns

Squash Blossoms with Sage Butter and...

Squash Soup with Goat Cheese Gnocchis by Hotels Lucien Barriere Deauville

Squash Soup with Goat Cheese Gnocchis

Taragona Gambas a la feuilletee de sofrito by Santi Santamaria

Taragona Gambas a la feuilletee de...

Our featured healthy easy poaching recipes

Calf Head by Harald Wohlfahrt

Calf Head

Duck of Challans from la ferte region by Philippe Gravouille

Duck of Challans from la ferte region

Eggs with fresh mushrooms by Jean Bardet

Eggs with fresh mushrooms

Foie gras pot au feu with celery by Etienne Krebs

Foie gras pot au feu with celery

Mackerel with Cider Vinegar by Hotels Lucien Barriere Deauville

Mackerel with Cider Vinegar

Peaches in english cream and kirsch (White sin amandine in bloom crusty) by Mario d'Orio

Peaches in english cream and kirsch (White sin...

Pear with wine, vanilla ice-cream and pepper by Beatrice et Jacques Ribourel (David Moreno)

Pear with wine, vanilla ice-cream and pepper

Prawn with fennel, vanilla and verbena by Roger Souvereyns

Prawn with fennel, vanilla and verbena

Roasted white figs with almond ice-cream by Arthur Dorshner

Roasted white figs with almond ice-cream

Roe deer fillet with pear in red vine, beet, and herbs by Roger Souvereyns

Roe deer fillet with pear in red vine, beet, and...

Squash Blossoms with Sage Butter and Ricotta by Roger Souvereyns

Squash Blossoms with Sage Butter and Ricotta

Squash Soup with Goat Cheese Gnocchis by Hotels Lucien Barriere Deauville

Squash Soup with Goat Cheese Gnocchis

Taragona Gambas a la feuilletee de sofrito by Santi Santamaria

Taragona Gambas a la feuilletee de sofrito

Other healthy easy poaching recipes 

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Calf Head

Chef: Harald Wohlfahrt

Calf Head Calf Head, How-To: Finely cut the vegetables. Boil salted water and prepare a vegetable stock. Put the mask from the calf head into this fond to cook. The sweetbread must cook for about 12-15 minutes. The brains are...

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Duck of Challans from la ferte region

Chef: Philippe Gravouille

Duck of Challans from la ferte region For those who think everything tastes like chicken, there's now a duck that tastes like steak. The Challans, a 400-year-old breed once served to French kings, is making its American debut...

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Eggs with fresh mushrooms

Chef: Jean Bardet

Eggs with fresh mushrooms This recipe will teach you how to make Egg and Mushrooms. It is a quick and easy recipe to make. Egg and Mushrooms is an absolutely nourishing and tasty breakfast recipe to start the day with. The...

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Foie gras pot au feu with celery

Chef: Etienne Krebs

Foie gras pot au feu with celery Foie gras used to be a rare delicacy served only in the fanciest French dining rooms, but in the last few years, melt-in-your-mouth duck liver has migrated onto the menus of most trendy...

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Mackerel with Cider Vinegar

Chef: Hotels Lucien Barriere Deauville

Watch this video and learn how to create Mackerel with Cider Vinegar, made by preparing a bouillon with onions, carrots, butter, salt, wine and water. This bouillon, along with cider vinegar, is used to poach the mackerel.  

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Peaches in english cream and kirsch (White...

Chef: Mario d'Orio

Peaches in english cream and kirsch (White sin amandine in bloom crusty) To prune the peaches (boiling water), make an English cream then and cool it in the fridge. Take the peaches and put there to cool, peel them then....

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Pear with wine, vanilla ice-cream and pepper

Chef: Beatrice et Jacques Ribourel (David Moreno)

Pear with wine, vanilla ice-cream and pepper Celebrate summer by treating yourself to a bowl of yummy vanilla ice-cream, topped with tasty pears and cooked in red wine. Viola! We hope you'll like this little dessert recipe. If...

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Prawn with fennel, vanilla and verbena

Chef: Roger Souvereyns

Prawn with fennel, vanilla and verbena When looking for a tasty seafood dish, you can never go wrong with prawns. In the United States, prawns are basically shrimp, but more commonly referred to as prawns elsewhere....

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Roasted white figs with almond ice-cream

Chef: Arthur Dorshner

Roasted white figs with almond ice-cream Take a bite out of a freshly roasted fig and summer will drip down your chin. Roasting figs is trivially easy, a hot oven and a clean casserole dish and you are halfway there. Once it’s...

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Roe deer fillet with pear in red vine, beet,...

Chef: Roger Souvereyns

Roe deer fillet with pear in red vine, beet, and herbs Roe deer fillet with pear in red vine, beet, and herbs- For the sauce: Reduce the game fond on a very low flame, continuously adding the ingredients. Let the whole...

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Squash Blossoms with Sage Butter and Ricotta

Adapted from A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen by Jack Bishop This dish may seem sophisticated, but it isn't difficult to put together. Do handle the squash blossoms with care; they are quite fragile.

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Squash Soup with Goat Cheese Gnocchis

Chef: Hotels Lucien Barriere Deauville

Squash Soup with Goat Cheese Gnocchis A colorful dish that makes the most of gnocchi's great pairing with cheese, this simple recipe will soon become a favorite .This fantastic soup is best made with varieties of squash that...

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Taragona Gambas a la feuilletee de sofrito

Chef: Santi Santamaria

Taragona Gambas a la feuilletee de sofrito This is a simple prawn recipe with tomato chutney. Begin by poaching the shrimps with very salty water. Prepare a bowl ice. Then, on a pot of boiling water, add a good quantity of...

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