How to Poach a Perfect Egg (Nick Anderer-Style)

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

A couple weeks back, I wrote about the perfect poached egg I had at Maialino in New York, marveling at its creamy, oozy consistency, and perfectly oblong, plump shape. I'd never seen eggs poached that well in my life.

So how does chef Nick Anderer do it?

As suspected, it requires the use of a temperature-controlled water bath, so if you've got either a hardcore circulator, a Sous-Vide Supreme, just a beer cooler, you can replicate these at home pretty easily.

The process essentially involves par-cooking the eggs in the shell in a 150 degree water bath until they just barely begin to set (34 minutes is the magic number), then chill them in a water bath. After the chilling, they can sit at least overnight, which is good news for those of you who want to get some brunch prep done ahead of time.

When you're ready to serve them, all you've gotta do is crack them into a pot of just-under-simmering water and cook them exactly the same way you'd cook a normal poached egg (about 2-3 minutes, gently turning once or twice to get the cooking even). Because the shape is already set from the par-cook, they hold their shape perfectly when they hit the simmering water, making poaching virtually foolproof.

Click through the slideshow for a more detailed view of the process.