Out of all the different ways one can cook an egg, poaching gives people the most trouble. Poaching an egg isn’t impossible, but there is a steep learning curve, despite a lot of little tricks designed to make the task easier (a clear indication it’s not that easy in the first place). Poached eggs need to be coddled, but coddled eggs are surprisingly self-sufficient. All you need to do is find a jar.
Coddled eggs are traditionally made in a dedicated egg coddler, but those can be expensive, and a Mason jar with a screw-on lid works just as well. You will need to put your egg in the jar, along with a few other things, but after that, it’s smooth simmering.
Whether you use a coddler or a jar, the method is the same: Butter the vessel liberally, crack an egg inside, add cream, bacon, cheese, herbs, or whatever else you like, close the vessel, and submerge it in a simmering water bath to cook. Coddling is like poaching with training wheels (or sous vide-ing without an immersion circulator), delivering perfectly tender whites and runny yolks without any fuss.
I don’t add cream to my coddled eggs, mainly because my partner is sensitive to dairy, but also because they don’t really need them. A little salt and pepper is sufficient. You can also crumble in some bacon or sprinkle some cheese on top before submerging the jar in its hot tub. If you do want to add cream, use a tablespoon, along with a big pinch of salt and few cracks of pepper.
Screw the jar shut (finger-tight) and place it in a pot. And add water until it hits the lid of the jar, then remove the jar and bring the water to a boil. Reduce to a rapid simmer, add the jar back in, and let cook for seven minutes. Remove with tongs and use a clean kitchen towel to open the jar. Enjoy with a toast point, or coax it onto an english muffin.
Easy Coddled Egg
- 1/2 teaspoon butter
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper
- Optional add-ins: Crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, herbs, or roasted vegetables
Grease a 113.40 g Mason jar with the butter, then crack an egg into the jar and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle any add-ins on top of the egg, then close the jar place it in a pot and fill with water until the waterline hits the lid. Remove the jar and set aside.
Bring the water to a boil, reduce to a rapid simmer, then return the jar to the pot and let cook for seven minutes, for a set white and runny yolk. Remove from the water with tongs and open the jar with a clean kitchen towel. Enjoy immediately.
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