This French creation is absolutely delicious, and a fairly easy side-dish for lots of main dishes. I couldn’t find a lot of information on their history, though I found that they’ve been around for a long time. They’ve recently been less popular, which is a mystery, as they’re so good.
I’ve seen a lot of recipes that call for using Russet potatoes for fondant potatoes, but given their excessive starchiness, Yukon golds are a better bet. I also wonder if the recipe would work with yams or sweet potatoes.
You’ll need an oven-safe frypan to make these.
What you’ll need:
- 2-4 large, elongated potatoes—I used large Yukon golds
- 2-3T vegetable oil
- 3T unsalted butter (salted works, too)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme—I did not have any, so I used chopped cilantro for some color
- 1 cup stock (chicken is most common, but I used a diluted Vietnamese bullion cube)
- Salt, to taste
- Ground black pepper, to taste
What to do:
Heat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Peel the potatoes and slice the ends off, making them flat. Cut the remainder into 2-inch pieces, maybe 2 or 3 per potato, depending on their size. Note the shape of the pieces in the photos.
Heat the oil at medium-high heat in an oven-safe frypan (cast iron works well) until hot. Maybe have a splash screen at the ready because the oil will sizzle. Add the potatoes to the pan flat-end down and cook for about 5 minutes or until golden brown on the cooked surface. A safe way to add the potatoes to the pan is with sturdy tongs and a firm grip—don’t let potatoes slip out of the tongs. Move the potatoes around the surface of the pan as they cook to ensure that they don’t stick.
When the first sides are done, lower the heat to medium and turn and cook the opposite ends in the same manner until golden brown.
Add the butter, garlic and thyme, stirring the garlic and thyme around as the butter melts. When the butter is infused with the garlic and thyme flavors, baste the potatoes with the butter.
After the potatoes are well basted, remove the garlic and season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Slowly and very carefully add the chicken stock to the pan—be careful, as it may bubble and splash from the heat. Cook the potatoes in the oven for about 30 minutes.
At the 30-minute mark, check the potato doneness with an instant thermometer probe or a skewer of some type. If it goes in easily to the center of the potato piece, they’re done. If not, cook for 5-10 minutes more and check again. Repeat until they’re done.
At this point, there will be a bit of oil and stock in the bottom of the pan—don’t let it cook off completely.
Add a sprig or two of Thyme and adjust the saltiness before serving hot.