White Wine Poached Egg with a Bacon-Frisee Salad

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 40 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: 1 serving
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1 or 2 slices ciabatta bread, grilled with extra-virgin olive oil


8 ounces bacon, cut into lardons, reserving at least 1/2 cup bacon fat for dressing (good for 4 servings)

2 medium heads frisee, trimmed and outer leaves removed and soaked in ice water with a big pinch kosher salt

1 head fennel, halved, cored and sliced paper thin on a mandolin, and add to ice water with frisee

1 heaping tablespoon Pickled Onions, recipe follows

1 handful frisee, trimmed and washed

2 tablespoons Warm Vinaigrette dressing, recipe follows

Poached Egg

About 2 cups white wine, for poaching (or about 1-inch liquid in small saucepan)

Splash white wine vinegar, for poaching

1 bouquet garni (1 clove garlic, bay leaf, shallot, 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns in cheesecloth tied with butcher's twine with extra string to tie to handle of pot)

Pinch kosher salt

1 chicken egg, cracked into individual ramekin

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Warm Vinaigrette

1/2 shallot, minced (1 tablespoon)

1/2 clove garlic, smashed

Pinch kosher salt

1/4 cup red wine vinegar or big splash

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup warm bacon fat

Freshly ground black pepper

Pickled Onions

2 pounds red onions, sliced

White wine vinegar


Kosher salt

4 cloves garlic

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons coriander seeds

2 tablespoons black peppercorns

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons mustard seeds


  1. For the salad: Place the bacon lardons into a saute pan and cook to render the fat and crisp. Remove the bacon lardons and reserve 1/2 cup bacon fat for the dressing. Drain the frisee and fennel and dry in a salad spinner. Set the frisee and fennel aside in a medium bowl. 
  2. To the same bowl add the reserved bacon, pickled onions, and warm vinaigrette dressing that has been spooned around the side of the bowl. Spooning the dressing on the side of the bowl helps from overdressing the salad itself. Toss to combine. 
  3. For the poached egg: Add 2 cups or about 1-inch white wine to a saucepan and add a splash of vinegar and big pinch salt. Add the bouquet garni to the saucepan and bring the mixture to a slow simmer. Once at a slow simmer, remove the bouquet garni. Carefully crack the egg into a ramekin. Gently slide the cracked egg into the liquid and poach. While the egg is cooking, baste or spoon some of the hot liquid over the egg to cook evenly, about 45 seconds to 1 minute. Remove the egg from the liquid with a slotted spoon and place into a small dish. Season the egg with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. 
  4. For serving: Place the toast slice onto a plate. Top with the salad and egg. Garnish with more bacon, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, extra-virgin olive oil. Drizzle with more dressing and garnish with fresh tarragon, if desired.

Warm Vinaigrette

  1. For the vinaigrette: Combine the shallot, garlic, salt, vinegar, mustard, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk in a few drops of the bacon fat and then begin adding the bacon fat in a thin stream, whisking continuously until all the oil is incorporated. Taste the dressing and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Pickled Onions

  1. For the pickled onions: Pack the onions in 2 (1-quart) jars and cover the water to come within 1/2-inch of the rim. Pour the water out into a measuring cup. Note the volume, pour off half of the water and replace it with vinegar. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons salt for every 3 cups of liquid. Pour the vinegar mixture into a nonreactive saucepan, add the garlic, bay leaves, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and mustard seeds, and bring to a boil over high heat. Allow the liquid to boil for 2 minutes, and then remove it from the heat. 
  2. Pour the hot liquid into the jars to cover the onions and screw on the lids. Refrigerate for up to 1 month.