Notes: Heating the eggs in the shell first keeps them from sticking together as they poach. You can serve the eggs as soon as they're cooked, but they're easier to manage if you poach them even a few minutes ahead, then reheat.
12 large eggs
How to Make It
Put about 3 inches water in a 5- to 6-quart pan; bring to a boil over high heat. With a slotted spoon, quickly and gently immerse 12 large eggs in the shell, 1 at a time, in water for 8 seconds; lift out.
Pour out all but 1 inch water from the pan; reduce heat so bubbles on the pan bottom pop to the surface only occasionally. Crack eggs 1 at a time, holding each shell close to the water surface as you break it open to let egg slide gently into water. If necessary, cook half the eggs at a time to keep from crowding. Cook to desired doneness (poke gently with a spoon to check), 3 to 4 minutes for soft-cooked eggs.
With slotted spoon, lift eggs 1 at a time from water and immediately immerse in a bowl of cold water. If making up to 2 days ahead, wrap bowl airtight and chill.
To reheat eggs, immerse in hot (about 120°) water until warm to touch, 5 to 10 minutes. Lift out with slotted spoon.