It starts with plain old eggs. Normally when poaching eggs, you want the freshest eggs possible to help them hold their shape. With this method, freshness is less important. If your eggs are fridge cold, let them rest at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before proceeding.
Precision is Key
The eggs are then parcooked in the shell in a water bath kept at 150°F for exactly 34 minutes. This allows the whites and yolks to set just to the point where they barely hold their shape when the egg is cracked, but are still liquid enough to flow when pierced with a fork.
Try This at Home
If you don't have an electronic water bath, you can cook your eggs just fine in a beer cooler. Just fill it up with 150° water (the easiest way to do this is add hot water from the tap, then top it off with boiling water until the temperature equilibrates to 150—use a thermometer), add your eggs, seal the lid, and set the timer for 34 minutes.
Chill and Cook
After the par-cooking stage, chill the eggs in an ice bath and store them in the fridge until ready to use (you can do this a day in advance). Bring a pot of salted water up to a bare simmer, then carefully break each egg into it.
If you break the eggs into a teacup first and carefully tip it into the water, you can avoid any kind of accidental breakage.
Poach Like Normal
Poach the egg like normal for 2 to 3 minutes, turning it gently occasionally.
Normally, eggs cooked in the shell in a water bath can be slightly off-putting to diners, as they've got a milky, slightly translucent appearance. Poaching them after their water-bath treatment sets the outside and turns it opaque, giving the egg the appearance and texture of a traditionally poached egg.
The Coppa Croccante
Now just place that perfectly poached egg on top of your fried pig's head terrine (you do keep one of those around in your fridge, don't you?) and serve.
Other things to eat them with:
A bit of soy sauce and shredded nori.
A fresh green salad (with bacon!).
In a bowl or ramen.
On toast (with bacon!).
On top of pasta with a bit of olive oil and Pecorino.
Family Meal Time!
Here's what the staff at Maialino gets to eat for lunch. Perfectly poached eggs, braised beef, and a fresh green salad. Looks good to me!