For A Richer Breakfast, Poach Eggs In Clarified Butter

Poached eggs are a prime example of everything excellent about eggs as food. They're delicate and creamy, and have topped some of the most decadent breakfast recipes ever conceived. What would eggs Benedict or Florentine be without perfectly poached eggs? Cooked in a concoction of water and vinegar, there is nothing special required to get all the excellent richness out of a poached egg. But, if you're someone who wants to dial up the richness even more, consider poaching your eggs in a pot of clarified butter.

Clarified butter is one of those cooking fats that is universally beloved. Removed of its milk solids, proteins, sugar, and water, clarified butter is pure fat.  A staple in French cuisine, clarified butter can help stabilize sauces, sauté steaks and vegetables, cook eggs, or be drizzled over popcorn. It has a refined, nutty flavor that's not bogged down by any of the heavy dairy imparted by milk solids. So, it should come as no shock that poaching an egg in this lipid is only going to maximize its flavor potential. 

Poaching eggs in clarified butter is a simple process. However, it does require diligence as consistent temperatures need to be maintained, and the egg needs to be monitored.

How to poach eggs in clarified butter

Two cups of clarified butter, heated to 170 degrees Fahrenheit (check with a meat thermometer), are required for this method of poaching. As the clarified butter heats, crack two eggs into a bowl. This makes them easier to handle and reduces the risk of shell fragments.

Once the butter has come to temperature, gently add the eggs, and poach for five to seven minutes. You're looking for the egg whites to become completely opaque and the yolk to be cooked but still runny. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and serve however you like. As the eggs were poaching, the nutty flavor of the clarified butter was slowly incorporated into the eggs, providing them with an even deeper flavor. There is an amplified, cheesy richness to these eggs that is sure to have you converting to clarified butter as your new poaching method of choice.

If you don't have clarified butter on hand, make some at home. To do so, take some butter and melt it in a pot over medium heat. Once foam begins to rise to the top of the pot, spoon away as much of it as you can before straining it through a fine mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth to catch any remaining solids. The result should be a beautiful, golden cooking fat.