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Perfect Crisp Roasted Potatoes

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, by Francisco J. Robert. “After weeks of testing, we discovered the secrets to the crispiest, creamiest roasted potatoes: the right spud, the right shape, and—surprisingly—a not-so-delicate touch.”

Ingredients

  • Potatoes
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • Cold Water
  • 5 tbsp Olive Oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions

Roast

  1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 450F. 

  2. Place potatoes and 1 Tbsp salt in dutch oven and add cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to boil over high heat. 

  3. Reduce heat and gently simmer until exteriors of potatoes have softened but centers offer resistance when pierced with paring knife, about five minutes. Drain potatoes well and transfer to large bowl. 

  4. Drizzle potatoes with 2 Tbsp oil and sprinkle with ½ tsp salt. Using rubber spatula, toss to combine. Drizzle with another 2 Tbsp oil and ½ tsp salt. Continue to toss until exteriors of potato slices are coated with starchy pate, 1 to 2 minutes.

  5. Working quickly, remove baking sheet from oven and drizzle remaining 1 Tbsp oil oven 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 grown and crisp, 15-25 minutes, rotating baking sheet after 10 minutes.

  6. Remove baking sheet from oven and, using spatula and tongs, loosen potatoes from pan carefully flipping each slice. Continue to roast until second side is golden and crisp, 10-20 minutes longer, rotating pan as needed to ensure that potatoes brown evenly. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Perfect Potato Principles

Disks, Not Chunks—half-inch rounds require only one flip, making it far easier to ensure that each side gets equal time face-down in the pan.

Parcook—Simmering the potatoes brings the starch to the surface, jump-starting the crisping process. The potatoes should be just under-cooked when they are removed from the boiling water to ensure that they don’t overcook while baking.

Preheat—A hot, rimmed baking sheet gives the potatoes a head start when placed in the oven, a step that guarantees crispier results.

Toss Vigorously—Roughing up the parboiled potatoes with salt and oil damages the surface cells, which speeds up evaporation. This creates a layer of fluffy potato goodness that keeps the outside crispy and the inside creamy.