Because I own backyard chickens, eggs are a major building block of my meals. “Put an egg on it” is the law of the land here, from salads to grain bowls to sandwiches. But one of the most luxurious egg preparations, poaching, is also one of the most finicky—unless you know ATK’s microwave method.
Poaching a single egg in the microwave offers two key advantages: It’s faster and, in my opinion, easier than poaching via stovetop. And because of that, it encourages me to poach an egg more often. Lyonnaise salad, corned beef hash, eggs Benedict (a good excuse to make our blender Hollandaise) . . . when you have great-quality eggs, poaching takes full advantage.
The ideal poached egg has a flowing, runny yolk that should spill out when it's broken into with a fork, and the whites should remain set and thoroughly encapsulate the yolk. Aesthetically, the whites should look neat and nicely bound, not ragged and torn. But that’s mostly for breakfast Instagram posts, not because it impacts the flavor.
If you're serving poached eggs for a few people, by all means follow ATK’s tried-and-true stovetop method (paywalled recipe accessible for members!). But if you’re poaching solo, or if you'd like to figuratively dip your toes into poached eggs, there is an easier and faster way.