How to Poach

Prepare delicate ingredients like fruit and fish with this simple technique that's also healthy and delicious.

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Why Poach?

Scott Little

Why Poach?

Instead of cooking in fats such as oil or butter, poaching allows you to cook food submerged in liquid on a gentle simmer. Additional perks: there is practically no risk of burning your food, picky eaters will love the purity of preparation, and it's as easy as boiling water! We have some simple tips and five great recipes to try.

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Step 1: Combine Ingredients

Kate Sears

Step 1: Combine Ingredients

For a flavorful poaching liquid, combine ingredients such as stock, wine, juice, and herbs. The liquid should completely cover the food.

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Step 2: Boil and Simmer

Kate Sears

Step 2: Boil and Simmer

Bring the liquid to a full boil in a shallow pan or skillet. Then immediately reduce the heat to a gentle simmer -- bubbles should rarely break the surface.

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Step 3: Let It Cook

Kate Sears

Step 3: Let It Cook

Keep careful watch of the clock and cook foods according to recipe instructions. Be patient and let it cook undisturbed until it is time to carefully remove the item with a slotted spoon or spatula.

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Simple Poached Eggs

Kate Sears

Simple Poached Eggs

You can prepare eggs ahead of time, store them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, then plunge them in simmering water for 30 seconds to reheat before you're ready to serve.

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Oven-Poached Salmon with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

Kate Sears

Oven-Poached Salmon with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

Using the oven (instead of your stove top) as your heat source is a simple, low-maintenance way to achieve properly cooked fish. Serve this with a side of rice and steamed vegetables for a healthy meal.

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Minty Pomegranate Pears

Kate Sears

Minty Pomegranate Pears

This kid-friendly twist on classic poached pears uses pomegranate juice instead of wine.

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Ginger-Poached Rhubarb Oatmeal

Kate Sears

Ginger-Poached Rhubarb Oatmeal

A sprinkling of brown sugar before serving balances out the natural tartness of the rhubarb. Add leftover poaching liquid to seltzer water for a homemade soda.

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Chicken Salad With Cranberries

Kate Sears

Chicken Salad With Cranberries

Poaching is a surefire way to avoid tough, stringy chicken.

Originally published in the June 2012 issue of Parents magazine.

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