My wife is always in pursuit of the “ultimate” fried potato without actually frying. She has been making “oven fried potato” which is very good but a bit of work. This time, from the same source, “Cook’s illustrated”, she saw a recipe for “duck fat roasted potato” with rosemary. Duck fat is not something we regularly stock. When I cook duck breast I usually mop up the fat with paper towels but last time, I poured the rendered duck fat into a small ramekin since the amount of rendered fat was unusually large. I did not have any intention of saving it but my wife apparently covered it and placed it in the refrigerator. So when she came across this recipe, it was like the stars and the moon were lining up properly and she had to try it. The below is the final product; nice thick crispy crust and soft center with nice rosemary flavor.
Unlike myself, my wife measures, weighs and follows the recipe precisely. She had to scale the original recipe to 2/3 but the amount given below is from the original recipe.
3 1/2 lb Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces (#1)
Kosher salt and pepper
1/2 tsp baking soda
6 tbs duck fat
1 tbs chopped fresh rosemary
- Preheat oven to 475F with a rimmed baking sheet on the top shelf
- Add 10 cups of water to a pot and boil over high heat, add potatoes, 1/3 cup of salt and baking soda. Return to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Drain potatoes. Return potatoes to pot and place over low heat. Cook, shaking pot occasionally, until surface moisture has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add 5 tablespoons duck fat, 1 teaspoon of salt, mix to coat (#2).
- Remove (hot) baking sheet from the oven spread potato in one layer and bake for 15 minutes (3#, surface is showing just few brown spots).
- Using metal spatula, turn the potatoes over (#3), the bottom developed nice brown crust. We made sure that the pale side of potatoes is down and brown side up #4) and baked 12-15 minutes longer. While potatoes roast, combine finely chopped rosemary and the remaining 1 tbs duck fat in a bowl.
- Spoon rosemary mixture over the potatoes (#5) and using spatula turn. Bake an additional 3-5 minutes (#6). Season with salt and pepper as needed.
This is less work than oven-fried potato and the result is better. Because of the par-boiling and baking soda, a thick crust forms during baking and the fresh rosemary adds a nice flavor. Although the entire kitchen smelled of duck fat, we did not taste not much “duck” flavor on the potato.
We may try this with just olive oil or with bacon dripping. Another alternative may be using white potato instead of Yukon Gold. In any case, this is indeed a fantastic oven potato. The leftovers heat well in the toaster oven.