The crispiness of these potatoes just boggles my mind. This recipe uses absolutely no oil, no butter, no lard, no shortening, no fat whatsoever. It is crispy completely from the way that it is cooked. The interior of the potato is fluffy and soft, and the outside has a robust crunch to it. Don’t expect the same kind of crunch as a french fry (many people aren’t aware, but french fries are usually deep fried in oil twice…definitely a “once in a while” treat), but these potatoes are equally as addictive. My husband and I can go through a whole sheet pan of these things in one sitting, and we do…that’s why I make four pounds at a time. Here’s the recipe!
4 pounds potatoes (I highly recommend using Russet)
2 tbsp all purpose flour
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 525 degrees F. That’s not a typo, 525.
When selecting potatoes, try to choose larger ones (bigger potatoes means less peeling). Peel the skin off the potatoes, placing the potatoes in cool water after peeling so they don’t discolor. I find that the quickest way to peel potatoes is to prop them up and peel downward while rotating the potato, then clean up the ends. Like this:
Once the potatoes are peeled, cut them into evenly sized small pieces. Place the potato pieces in a pot, fill with enough cold water to cover the potatoes, and heavily salt the water*** (taste it, it should taste like ocean water). Bring to a boil on high heat (you always cook potatoes starting with cold water in order to ensure evenly cooked pieces. If you start the potatoes in boiling water, the outside will be overcooked by the time the inside is done). Once the water is boiling, cook for an additional 4 minutes. Drain the potatoes, return the pieces to the pot (don’t put the pot back on the heat), and sprinkle over the flour. Put the lid back on the pan, and shake it up, shake, shake, shake =) You are marring the edges, which will facilitate the crunchiness of the potatoes later on. They should look more or less like this after you shake:
Dump the potatoes onto a sheet pan and make sure they are in a single layer (don’t crowd the potatoes, or the edges won’t get crispy). Give it a good sprinkling of sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, and they are ready to go into the oven:
Roast for 30-60 minutes, depending on the size of your potato chunks, at 525 degrees F. Definitely keep your eye on them, as they are done when they’re brown. Enjoy your crispy potatoes!
***Let’s talk about salt for a second. For this recipe, it is absolutely crucial that you season the potatoes well, especially since there is no fat. Salt has a bad reputation, and it shouldn’t. We need salt to survive. Salt is viewed negatively because many people are eating too much of it through processed and manufactured foods, which have an ABSURD amount of salt in them (these foods usually don’t taste good, so manufacturers try to compensate with salt, and also extend the expiration date of these products through salt preservation). Since we are cooking from scratch, we really need to season our food. When salting the boiling water for the potatoes (and similarly when boiling pasta), the potatoes will only absorb a small amount of water, so that water needs to be very salty. Most of the salt you put in the water will get drained away with the water. Salting the boiling water is your best chance to season.
Recipe adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe from her book Feast. Her recipes uses 2 cups of goose fat…I did not try that for multiple reasons, but found that the potatoes cook well with no fat added.
I would love to hear your comments, suggestions, or questions below. Have a great day!