Some think I should sell the burnt bits of my roasted potatoes and I would become rich. I am not sure about that but, when making dinner, my roasted potatoes are always a hit. Maybe because I have been making them forever and I have been perfecting the soft center – crunchy exterior technique.
I am not sure there is a technique per se, more like using the right type of spud and setting the correct oven temperature, and allotting more time than one might think.
After posting last week’s recipe for chicken cacciatore, and including a photo of the accompanying potatoes, a few of you commented on how yummy they looked so here is, not so much the recipe, but the method I use to obtain that perfect balance.
I always start with Yukon gold or new potatoes that are less starchy than Russet (which are better for gnocchi and mashed potatoes).
I always peel them and cut them in medium size pieces (about 2 inches each). Any smaller, and they will dry out. Then I toss them in enough olive oil to coat them but not too much to weigh them down: shake the pan this way and that and then add a couple of peeled and smashed garlic cloves and a few sprigs of rosemary.
I make sure the oven is nice and hot, 400/425F (200/220C) and let them roast for about one hour, one hour and 15 minutes to get all those little burnt bits that are the best part, dislodging them with a spatula and shaking them every 20 minutes or so.
The high temperature ensures a nice, crunchy exterior that gives way to a soft center at every bite. As soon as they come out of the oven, I sprinkle them generously with sea salt and toss them again. Apparently, salting them after they are cooked keeps them crunchy. I tried salting them before putting them in the oven and I am not sure there is much difference but I stick with the experts’ opinions.
If you are curious, Stefan of Stefan Gourmet, put both methods to the test.