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Crispy Roasted Potatoes

December 16, 2009

I have mentioned many-a-time that I’m not a big fan of potatoes.  But when I promised Nate I’d cook him whatever he wanted every Sunday for a month, that means I have to cook whatever he wants

Potato-hater that I am, I was curious to try this recipe for really crispy roasted potatoes from Cooks Illustrated.  It’s hard to make crispy roasted potatoes in less than 30 minutes and I’m usually game for trying a new technique.

In this case, the new technique was to parboil thick slices of potatoes, and then stir the crap out of them.  The idea is that by adding olive oil and salt and then “vigorously” tossing them, the outsides start to get mushy and pasty.  Then when you bake the potatoes the mushy part gets nice and crispy.  There’s a reason exactly why that happens and it involves something called amylose and that’s really about all I can tell you.

The potatoes turned out crispy and well-seasoned, and they went perfectly with the beef tenderloin.  Once again, Cooks Illustrated really is the best way to go. 

Crispy Roasted Potatoes

(From Cooks Illustrated)

2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes , rinsed and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  Table salt
5 tablespoons olive oil
  Ground black pepper

Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 450 degrees. Place potatoes and 1 tablespoon salt in Dutch oven; add cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat and gently simmer until exteriors of potatoes have softened but centers offer resistance when pierced with paring knife, about 5 minutes. Drain potatoes well and transfer to large bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt; using rubber spatula, toss to combine. Drizzle with another 2 tablespoons oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt; continue to toss until exteriors of potato slices are coated with starchy paste, 1 to 2 minutes.

Working quickly, remove baking sheet from oven and drizzle remaining tablespoon oil over surface. Carefully transfer potatoes to baking sheet and spread into even layer (skin-side up if end piece). Bake until bottoms of potatoes are golden brown and crisp, 15 to 25 minutes, rotating baking sheet after 10 minutes.

Remove baking sheet from oven and, using metal spatula and tongs, loosen potatoes from pan, carefully flipping each slice. Continue to roast until second side is golden and crisp, 10 to 20 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 13, 2011 12:44 pm

    I’m making these for the second time right now. This really is the best recipe for crispy roasted potatoes that I’ve ever found. This recipe, and the one for the best beef stew ever are evidence enough for maintaining a subscription to Cooks Illustrated. Thanks for posting the recipe … I’m in Ukraine right now, so don’t have my magazines on hand and didn’t want to sign up for the 14 day trial membership for CI online!

  2. Cindy permalink
    March 25, 2013 9:24 am

    “It’s hard to make crispy roasted potatoes in less than 30 minutes” These are quite good, but they do take longer than 30 minutes – 15 to 25 minutes on the first side, 10 to 20 minutes on the second side, plus 5 minutes of boiling time. (Plus the time of slicing, bringing the water to a boil, and tossing the slices with oil and salt.) Takes me well over an hour from pulling out the potatoes to putting them on the table. They’re delicious, but like so many CI recipes, they’re more time consuming than conventional ways of doing something similar.

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