Crispy Oven-Roasted Potatoes

Earlier this week we finally turned off our a/c and opened our windows. The night air has been crisp and cool and I was so looking forward to sleeping with the breeze blowing through our room. Of course, the first morning after doing so, I woke up with a horrible sore throat so that sort of put a damper on things. Logically I know the two are unrelated, but I can’t help but feel a bit bitter that instead of enjoying blissful sleep in a cool room I’m now tossing and turning because of this darn cold I’ve caught. I’ve been eating and drinking all the right things, all those things everyone suggests when you mention you have a cold, in the hopes that I can nip it in the bud quickly. Fingers crossed! And hopefully if I get this cold out of the way now I won’t get sick again for the rest of the winter – wouldn’t that be nice?

Crispy Oven-Roasted Potatoes

I never have much of an appetite when I have a sore throat, but the arrival of fall weather has me really craving comfort food. As soon as I feel better, these potatoes will be one of the first things I make. Yes, they’re a little more work than your standard roasted potatoes. Rather than simply cutting the potatoes, drizzling them with olive oil and maybe some seasonings then sticking them in the oven, these are first parboiled. The parcooking keeps the interiors really creamy in the oven while the outside browns and crisps. The recipe also calls for Yukon Gold potatoes as opposed to the russets I usually keep on hand. For the small amount of extra effort, I was rewarded with a ridiculously good batch of roasted potatoes; in fact, I may even have made a meal out of them one day. Oops :) They cooked more uniformly than my standard roasted potatoes – each round had a gorgeous crispy brown exterior and a creamy interior. Make them this fall, maybe to accompany a roasted chicken? You won’t be sorry!

Crispy Oven-Roasted Potatoes
from The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2011

2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 5 medium), rinsed and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
5 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 F. Place a rack in the lowest position in the oven and place a large, rimmed baking sheet on it.

Combine the potato rounds and 1 tablespoon of salt in a large pot and add cold water to cover by 1 inch. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and continue cooking until the edges of the potatoes have softened, but the centers offer resistance when you insert a paring knife, about 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes and transfer to a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt then use a rubber spatula to toss. Add another 2 tablespoons of oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt then toss again – don’t be gentle, you want to vigorously toss the potatoes until the outside of the slices are coated with a starchy paste, which should take 1-2 minutes.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and drizzle it with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the potatoes to the baking sheet, spread in an even layer (skin side up for end pieces). Bake for 15-25 minutes, or until the bottoms of the potatoes are golden brown and crisp. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and flip the potatoes using a metal spatula. Return to the oven and continue cooking until the second side is golden and crisp, about 10-20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.