Sauté? Check. Braise? Of course. Poach? Hmm. Even the most experienced home cook is occasionally flummoxed when a recipe calls for poaching. But poaching is easier than you might think, and is a healthy way to cook a variety of ingredients. Read on for our step-by-step poaching coaching, and you’ll be adding this technique to your repertoire in no time!
Poaching is a great choice when you’re looking to cook fish quickly and easily. After thoroughly rinsing your filet of fish, place it in a large saucepan and add poaching liquid (water, milk, stock, or wine). Bring your poaching liquid to a simmer over medium heat and cook the fish for about 10 minutes, or until the center of the fish seems opaque and it flakes easily. The key to poaching fish is to bring the liquid to a nice simmer not a rolling boil.
Poaching not only serves as a quick cooking method, but it is also a healthy way of cooking eggs without adding fat. You can poach eggs by bringing water in a shallow saucepan to a near-boil. Crack an egg into a small cup. Place the cup near the surface of the hot water and gently drop the egg into the water. Repeat this, if you’re cooking more than one egg. Next, turn off the heat and allow the eggs to sit for about four minutes, or until the egg whites are cooked. Lift eggs out of the pan with a slotted spoon. Bonus tip: adding one to two teaspoons of vinegar will allow the eggs to congeal more easily.
You can poach chicken by placing your cut of poultry into a large saucepan with enough poaching liquid (water, milk, stock, or wine) to cover the chicken with about an inch to spare. Bring the poaching liquid to a boil and reduce the heat to a bare simmer. Next, partially cover your pan and allow the chicken to sit for 10 minutes before turning off the heat completely. Allow the meat to cook off the heat for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.
If you haven’t experienced poached fruit, we’re about to sweeten up your life! Simply core, or pit, and peel the fruit if necessary. (Apples and pears should be peeled, while peaches don’t need to be peeled.) Submerge the fruit in poaching liquid (juice, wine) in a large pan and cover with a plate to weigh the fruit down and ensure even cooking. Allow the fruit to simmer for 10 minutes or until you can easily pierce it with a knife. Remove the fruit with a slotted spoon.
More: Cranberry Poached Pears
Learning how to poach is simple. You can easily enjoy quick and healthy meals by putting your new found poaching skills to work.
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