I have been wanting to make this recipe from Cooks Illustrated for a long time. I finally had the opportunity this weekend and they turned out surprisingly well. One tip I can give you is to buy the smallest red potatoes you can find. Try to get them all uniform in size. I had a few that were bigger than the others and they weren’t cooked as evenly as the rest of the bunch. Still good, but you could tell the difference.
Overall, I really liked the technique behind this recipe. I didn’t have to do much at all and let the pan and the heat do their work. Instead of roasting potatoes in a super hot oven for a long time and risking burning them, this recipe both steams and crisps one side of the potatoes. They were creamy but at the same time, had a little bit of a crunchy crust to them.
The combination of the braised garlic, lemon juice, and chives on top to finish the potatoes was delicious. They weren’t too tart, but had a wonderful little zing to them.
I will certainly make these again in the near future as a side dish to roast chicken, steak, or even as a breakfast potato. So good!
What you need to make these potatoes:
1 1/2 lbs of small, red potatoes (uniform in size if possible)
2 Cups of water
3 Tbs of butter
3 cloves of garlic
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 Tbs of lemon juice
2 Tbs of chopped chives
1/2 tsp salt
more salt and pepper to taste
Wash and cut your potatoes in half width wise. In a 12 inch skillet, place your potatoes in an even layer, cut side down. Pour your water on top, dot the top with your 3 Tbs butter, 1/2 tsp of salt, and add your fresh sprig of thyme and peeled garlic cloves (no need to chop these).
Bring the water up to a boil and simmer, covered for 15-20 minutes to soften your potatoes. Don’t stir these — just let them cook.
Once you have let the potatoes soften, remove the lid and discard the thyme. Take out your garlic and set aside to cool.
Bring the potatoes back up to a boil and then down to a vigorous simmer until almost all the water has been reduced and you hear the butter sizzling. This will take anywhere from 15-20 more minutes. Don’t stir the potatoes, but gently swirl the pan around as the water is reducing.
While the potatoes are continuing to cook, make a paste out of your cooled garlic cloves. To do this, just mash and spread it on a cutting board with the flat side of your kitchen knife. You will have to do this several times to get a smooth paste.
Put your paste into a bowl, add 1 Tbs lemon juice and mix in your 2 Tbs chives.
Once your potatoes are ready, remove them from the heat. Use a spatula to free them from the pan if they are stuck, then toss them in the lemon-garlic-chive paste.