The key to this brunch classic is delicious simplicity: poached fresh eggs, Canadian bacon, toasted English muffins, and an authentic hollandaise sauce.
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Pour enough water into a 10- to 12-inch skillet so that it’s three-quarters full. Add the vinegar and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Gently break the eggs into the water around the edge of the skillet, which will help keep the eggs together. Lower the heat to medium low and simmer until the eggs are just set, about 3 minutes; the yolks should still be runny. (Alternatively, add the eggs to the simmering water, turn off the heat, cover the skillet, and let them sit for 4 to 5 minutes.) Remove the eggs from the skillet with a slotted spoon and set aside on a warm paper-towel-lined plate. If the eggs have any feathery edges, you can trim them if you like.
Meanwhile, toast and butter the muffin halves.
Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat and cook 4 slices of the bacon, flipping once, until heated through and browned in spots, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a large plate and repeat with the remaining slices.
To serve, put two muffin halves on a warm plate, top each with a slice of the bacon and a poached egg, and spoon over about 1/4 cup of the hollandaise sauce. Garnish with a sprinkle of paprika and some chives (if using). Repeat with the remaining ingredients and serve immediately.
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Photo: Scott Phillips