My mom always made super crunchy roast potatoes alongside roast chicken and a green salad. We found it impossible to eat only the potatoes on our plates; you need a second helping and maybe a third. Crunchy roast potatoes are one of life’s great pleasures, don’t you agree? Lucky for us, Katie Quinn Davies from the blog What Katie Ate has agreed to share her mother’s perfect recipe…
My mum made the best roast potatoes ever—they were super-crunchy and crisp. For years I’ve tried to replicate them, and this is what I’ve learned along the way. First, once you’ve par-boiled the potatoes, drain them well and return them to the pan, then shake them vigorously to rough them up nicely (you could fluff them up with a fork as well, for extra crunchiness). Secondly, never try and roast potatoes in a glass or ceramic dish—it must be metal to make sure they get really crispy. Finally, if your potatoes are large, cut them in half or quarters, as the more edges you have on your potatoes, the crunchier they will be.
Recipe: Super Crunchy Roast Potatoes
8 large russet potatoes, peeled
1/3 cup canola or sunflower oil
2 springs rosemary, leaves picked
Preheat the oven to 475F.
Cut the potatoes in half lengthways, then again crosswise. Half-fill a large deep saucepan with cold water, add a pinch of salt and the potato pieces. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat down to medium and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until a knife can be inserted easily into the potatoes but there’s just a little resistance in the center. You want to just par-boil the potatoes; if you overcook them at this stage, they will become too mushy.
Drain the potatoes in a colander, then return them to the saucepan. Cover with the lid and give the pan a really good shake to fluff up the potatoes; these soft, loose edges will become really crispy during roasting. If you want, you can scrape the edges and tops of the potatoes with a fork to create even more fluffy bits.
Add the oil to a deep roasting tin and place in the oven for 10 minutes until smoking hot. Remove the roasting tin and turn the oven temperature down to 425F. Carefully add the potatoes to the hot oil, then sprinkle over the rosemary leaves and crumble a bit of sea salt on top.
Return the tin to the hot oven and roast for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until the potatoes are really crispy and a gorgeous golden brown. Feel free to turn the spuds halfway through to ensure even browning.
Serve piping hot with an extra sprinkle of sea salt.