The Most Awesome Crispy Roasted Potatoes
When I saw Cooks Illustrated's latest issue, with a description of the Best Crispy Roasted Potatoes Ever...I was intrigued. And after we polished off the whole batch, I knew I'd have to scale up my recipe and technique to meet the demand. :) These are amazing! I discovered that the salt and baking soda does not need to be doubled, even with more than twice as many potatoes as the original recipe. This makes enough for our family, with some left over. And don't be tempted to substitute for the animal fat - I think it really makes them super good.
5 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1.5-inch pieces
a scant 1/3 cup salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
~3/4 cup animal fat: tallow, lard, duck fat, etc.
2 tsp. salt
Fill an 8-qt. saucepan 2/3 full; bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, put a large, rimmed baking sheet on the upper-middle shelf of the oven, and preheat to 475f.
When the water comes to a boil, add the scant 1/3-cup of salt, plus the baking soda. Then carefully add the potatoes. Bring the pot back to a boil, and cook just until the surface of each potato is starting to get mushy (but the interior is barely tender) - no more than 1 minute after the water re-boils, and possibly less - keep checking.
Drain the potatoes and shake gently to remove extra moisture. Return the potatoes to the pot, and place back on a low flame; toss occasionally for two minutes, until the surface of the potatoes look almost dry.
Add the fat and 2 tsp. salt; toss with a rubber spatula until the fat is melted, and the surface of the potatoes is coated in a starchy, fatty layer of goodness. (This will become the crust of the cooked potato.)
Now that the baking sheet has been preheating for all this time, it is ready to receive the potatoes! Carefully spread them in a single layer on the baking sheet, and equally carefully return it to the oven.
Roast for about twenty minutes, until the potatoes are starting to brown. Turn them and return to the oven, stirring again every 10-15 minutes for another half-hour or so, until all is golden brown and crusty and perfect.