I've been intimidated by poaching eggs and have never tried it without my egg poaching set, which just didn't do a proper job. So, I decided to plunge in and try it. It was astonishingly simple and the eggs turned out perfectly! I'm pretty silly about some of my cooking intimidations.
Mixed Greens with Lardons & Poached Eggs
4 strips thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4" wide strips
2 tbsp. vinegar (I used cider vinegar because I couldn't find my white)
2 tbsp. finely-chopped shallots (can sub white onions)
1 tbsp. tarragon vinegar
A pinch each salt & pepper
Mixed greens, enough for 2
Cook bacon golden brown. Set aside, in pan. Fill small skillet with about an inch of warm (not hot) water. Fill a large pan halfway with water. Add a pinch of salt and the vinegar. Bring just barely to a simmer. Break each egg into its own very small bowl or cup. Slide eggs into simmering water and poach at a very gentle simmer until whites are firm, but yolks are runny, about 3-4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, place eggs gently in skillet of warm water. Reheat bacon and add shallots to bacon & fat. Cook, stirring, a minute or so. Add vinegar and boil for about 5 seconds. Pour over the mixed greens and toss well. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Divide between 2 plates. Top each with a poached egg, making sure to drain egg well in slotted spoon before placing on salad. Serves 2. This salad was inspired by one in the Gourmet Cookbook.
Chicken Salad with Smoked Almonds
32 oz. chicken broth
2 lb. chicken breasts (skinless, boneless)
1 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. minced shallots
1 tsp. minced tarragon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 c. chopped smoked almonds
Bring stock to a boil in a 12" skillet. Add chicken and poach at a very gentle simmer, turning once, 7-10 minutes, until cooked through. Allow to cool 15-20 minutes. Chop & mix with the rest of the ingredients. Good by itself or on sandwiches. I like this on the very thin Pepperidge Farm white bread. It makes perfect tea sandwiches, as well, which is what the original recipe (also from the Gourmet Cookbook) intends. Serves 2 for supper, with plenty left for lunch the next day, or 4 for one meal. Jeannene has declared this the best chicken salad she's ever had in her life.