Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Perfecting the Potatoes

For years now roasted potatoes have been one of my absolute favorite side items. I make them at least once a week, and they go so well with so many different entrees, from basic roasted chicken to veal marsala to braised pork chops.

Recently I've been tinkering with my old favorite recipe--nothing radically, but a few slight variations that make a great dish even better.

The key changes? Slice them thinner and cook them a little hotter. Rather than cutting the potatoes into inch-thick chunks (which usually meant quartering small baby red potatoes), I now cut them into about 1/2 inch slices. The rest of the prep is the same--drizzle with olive oil then sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika, and chopped parsely. Lately, though, I've been roasting them at 425 degrees rather than 350 degrees, and I stir and turn them more often--about once every ten minutes (I use my kitchen timer to remind me.)

I don't know what it is about the duck fat that adds so much to the potatoes, but they seem to come out just a little crispier and a little more tender on the inside and with a great punch of flavor that you don't get with olive oil or even chicken fat. Magnificence.

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