Roy and I met when Virginia Tech played the University of Miami @Miami in December of 2004. By winning that game, VT won their first ACC Championship and went on to play Auburn in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. The Hokies got beat by Auburn, but they're always #1 in our hearts (hence that creepy #1 hanging out over my should from the guy I cropped out of the photo).
Anyway, back to the cooking... this year I switched it up and broke out a recipe that I had tried two years ago to so-so reviews. You basically cook potatoes in chicken broth to make them super flavorful, lightly crack them open, and then brown them on the top and bottom. Sounds delicious, right?
Although it was less so-so the first time, I was convinced the error was all mine. I started by shrinking the size of the potatoes. I think I used full size yukon gold potatoes originally. This time I picked out baby gold potatoes that were much smaller in an effort to accelerate cooking time.
|Cooking the potatoes in chicken stock|
I also spent a lot of time waiting for the chicken stock to evaporate when I made this two years ago. As in... the rest of the meal was cold by the time I was done. So this time I let 75% of the stock evaporate per the recipe, and then I poured the rest of it out. The result? All the flavor and a dinner served on time.
|Flipping the browned potatoes after popping them|
These potatoes were the perfect accompaniment to dinner! It turns out that baby potatoes were the secret. They cook more quickly and hold the flavor really well. My very unscientific, uneducated guess is that it was hard for the flavor to really penetrate the larger potatoes and so some bites were good, and some were bland. All better now!
Popping or cracking the potatoes is something of an art. You don't want to smash them, you just want to press on them lightly until they crack open a bit. It will create a flattish surface on the top and bottom that is begging to be browned and made crispy. You can use a glass, a ladle, a spoon or my preferred tool - a shot glass. Just be gentle, you'll get the hang of it after the first few.
This was a big hit the second time around and is the perfect way to spice up a regular dinner at home.
Yukon Gold Potatoes: Jacques Pepin Style
30 mins, serves 6-8
3 lbs baby yukon gold potatoes
3 cups low sodium chicken stock
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
salt and fresh ground black pepper
Place potatoes in a deep skillet and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover potatoes half way with chicken stock, about 3 cups, add the butter and cover skillet with lid. Cook the potatoes over medium high heat in the stock until almost tender, about 8-10 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes.
Remove the lid and allow the stock to evaporate, about another 5-10 minutes. Once the stock has evaporated pop each potato using a ladle or large spoon, creating a small crack in each, but do not smash.
Allow the potatoes to brown on each side and reseason with salt and pepper if desired. Remove potatoes to serving platter and garnish with parsley.