'What has less flavor than consuming water?' I pose the question to my cooking college class. Nothing! Nothing has less flavor than water. When you are thinking about poaching fish, chicken, or eggs, why not ADD flavor into the final result by cooking them in a flavorful liquid?
That's the first rule of cooking something in a poaching method. Don't use flavorless water, always poach items within a flavorful liquid. An individual have ever boiled carrots in water? The result is carrots that taste like water and water at this point orange. Hmm, where did the flavor go?
You should never boil something on the inside kitchen anyway. On my opinion, boiling is not a cooking method. The relatively high temperature and violent motion within the liquid is a very bad way for your food.
To cook food in a moist convective manner, usually control the hot temperature. Most people think that just because you're cooking something in liquid, it is usually at a high temperature rapid boil. People cook something inside of the oven, is it always at outrageous temperature? No. Have got saute, is the flame always on high? No, you control the heat up.
There's a distinction between boil, simmer, and poach. Water boils at 212F (100c) and is characterized by large, violent motion. A simmer is 185F (85c). You can still tell when your cooking liquid is simmering because you will find soft bubbles in your own rim of the pan and a slight convection or motion.
Poaching fish, or anything else, means having the liquid keep a constant 165F (74c) temperature. This is the perfect number for cooking something because proteins coagulate at the same temperature. This may be the mile-marker that notifies you when something is actually cooking.
A correct poaching liquid has no visible bubbles and simply a slight convection to the liquid. Little pieces of fat or crumb may lazily float by; moving slowly, but should not see any bubbles. Why use a violent boil at 212F (100c) that will toughen and damage food when it's easy to cook at just the right temperature you need, 165F (74c)?
The disadvantage of cooking something this strategy is the lack of eye-appeal. Since poached meals are never cooked at a temperature above 165F (74c), it never reaches caramelization of sugars which occurs at 320F (160c). Caramelization is the brown color or grill marks generates your cooked food look so appealing.
However, should the food item is to get used for a stuffing and cooked an extra time, perhaps how it looks isn't essential as as how it tastes. We're making Chicken Burritos in cooking college today. The chicken is poached, shredded, filled into tortilla and baked again. We'd gladly sacrifice eye-appeal of the chicken for flavor and moisture in this dish.
Poaching fish or delicate food like eggs an especially good use of it technique anyone can add flavor and moisture a good item be effective dry in other cooking processes. I've used shrimp flavored broths or juice and wine mixtures on tender fish filets to add a whole new flavor measurement.
When you're able to control moist heat in the way you can do for dry heat, then you need developed a specialised level skills. The difference between boil, simmer, and poach will allow guide you toward moist and flavorful items that aren't rubbery; but skillfully cooked and cash more flavor than this type of water.
See Chef Todd's live culinary class on poaching fish.