I have this thing about regular potatoes that if they aren’t cooked extra crispy (I mean borderline charred), I really don’t care for them. To me, baked potatoes and mashed potatoes are just so boring (I know, I am crazy!). It must be a texture thing.
Travis, on the other hand, loves potatoes, so if I make them, I always try to roast the bejesus out of them to make them super, super crispy.
With my old method, I would cut the potatoes into squares or wedges, turn the heat in the oven up very high, and hope for the best. The result never satisfied me.
Recently, I was looking over an old issue of Cooks Illustrated, and I spotted a few tips ensuring super crispy potatoes. The more I read, the more excited I became to try their tips. From the picture, I could tell these were the level of crispness I craved. The next thing I knew, roasted potatoes were on that night’s dinner menu and I rushed out to the store to grab a couple pounds of potatoes.
As always, America’s Test Kitchen pulled through, and their tips worked like a charm. The result was extra crispy roasted potatoes that Travis, our guest, and I devoured almost immediately. Today, I’m sharing an adapted version of their recipe with you guys. I promise this method works – these potatoes are PERFECT.
The first tip is to cut the potatoes into discs, instead of wedges. This way, you only have to flip the potatoes once during the cooking time and both sides get VERY crispy.
The second tip is to parcook the potato discs before roasting them. This releases the starches to the surface, starting the crisping process.
After parcooking, it is important to toss the potatoes with 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil with a large spatula for at least 2 minutes. The potatoes will be slightly tender at this point, so their surfaces will break up a bit as you toss them around. This is a GOOD thing because you are speeding up evaporation in the potato. (think: there are more escape routes for the moisture inside a potato in a rough surface than in a flat one).
The last tip is to preheat your baking sheet with the oven. This way, when you place the potatoes on the baking sheet, they will immediately begin to brown and you shave a few minutes off of your cooking time. Win win!
When I cook potatoes this way, I could eat one million of them. No more boring potatoes for me! The discs cook down, so some of them become just as crisp as a potato chip! Yum, yum, YUM.
This recipe is a guaranteed winner and perfect side dish to almost anything!
- 1 lb potatoes, sliced into ½ inch thick discs (I used a variety of purple, red, and yukon gold)
- 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Fresh rosemary, chopped (optional)
- Salt and Pepper
- Place a baking sheet in oven and preheat oven to 450 degrees (it is essential that the baking sheet is in the oven for this step).
- Fill a large pot with water. Place the potato discs in the pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until the potatoes are almost-tender (a fork should offer some resistance when poked into the center).
- Drain the potatoes and place them in a large bowl. Toss the potatoes with 1-2 Tablespoons of the olive oil to coat. Use a spatula to stir the potatoes for about 2 minutes (don't skip this step because this is what will help them crisp up!) Season liberally with salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Brush the sheet with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. Place the potatoes on the sheet in one layer (you don't want any on top of each other). You should hear a sizzle when the potatoes hit the hot baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the sheet from the oven and flip the potatoes. Bake for an additional 20 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.