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Chef John’s Unexpected Trick for the Best Potatoes You’ll Ever Have

3 min read
Chef John’s Unexpected Trick for the Best Potatoes You’ll Ever Have

“This is the only way I’ll roast potatoes from now on.”


Let’s face it—when it comes to cooking potatoes, we’re all really after one thing: crispiness.

It’s this mouthwatering quality that makes you crave hash browns in the morning and renders it impossible to eat just one fry. Sure, there’s a time and place for mashed and au gratin, but in the potato world, crispy is king.

Potatoes have the unique ability to deliver both creamy and crispy textures in one bite, but they won’t get there on their own—you have to cook them just right. That’s why we (and our Allrecipes users) swear by this trick from Chef John for making the most texturally decadent potatoes to ever come out of your oven. 

“This technique is simple and yields [a] perfectly crisp exterior with [a] creamy interior!” shared one Allrecipes reviewer. Other users have called this method a “winner,” a “family favorite”, and their “go-to potato preparation.”

Ready to know what all the fuss is about? The crave-worthy quality all comes down to an extra step hidden in his recipe for “Special” Roasted Potatoes. It might take a few more minutes, but we promise, it won’t disappoint. Get ready for potatoes so tasty, you’ll get ‘compliments to the chef.’ 

Chef John’s #1 Trick for Crispy Potatoes

Roasted potatoes might seem like such a basic dish, you don’t even need a recipe. We agree, which is why we’re here to share a technique instead of a recipe. After all, the ingredients needed are very standard: yellow potatoes, olive oil, salt, garlic, and some aromatics.

What gives this “special” roasted potato dish its high status (besides over 100 5-star reviews) is a trick that Chef John calls a “secret step.”

And here it is: “The secret step is boiling the potatoes in a salted, seasoned liquid. As a result, they absorb flavor and salt and, more importantly, cook on the surface, forming a great, crunchy texture in the oven,” said Chef John.

The first instruction is to bring the halved potatoes to a boil in a large pot with salt, garlic, and bay leaves, then simmer for 5 more minutes before draining and drying the potatoes completely.

Finally, coat the dried in olive oil salt, and spices, then roast in a 375-degree F oven for 35 to 45 minutes, until the skin is “golden brown and crusty and flesh is creamy and soft.”

“Delicious and crunchy roasted potatoes,” raved Allrecipes user Lacyanne. “Boiling them before roasting makes an enormous difference in texture.”

Why It Works

Parboiling the potatoes creates a tender and fluffy interior, but it also causes the starches on the surface to bond together. This bonding creates a thin skin on the outside that, as long as the potatoes are dried thoroughly, will become golden and crispy when cooked at high heat. 

The process of adding moisture, and then removing moisture, is what gives the potatoes a delicious dichotomy of textures.

User Chrissy D offers another important tip: “I’d recommend spreading the potatoes out, not crowding, and cutting them to maximize crispy surface area.” This can prevent the potatoes from steaming instead of crisping. 

Similarly, you can also preheat the sheet pan or cast iron skillet so the hot surface starts crisping up the potatoes immediately.

Whether you serve these “special” potatoes for a weeknight dinner or a fancy holiday feast, they’ll get rave reviews every time. These roasted potatoes are more than just a meal accompaniment. Made Chef John’s way, they’ll be the star of any plate.

Get the Recipe: “Special” Roasted Potatoes

Read the original article on All Recipes.

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