Oven Roasted Potatoes

There are few, very close people to me, who greatly influenced my cooking. I look(ed) up to them because they are the guardians of my childhood and young adult delicious food related memories; both my grandmothers, mom, dad, my husband, my mother-in-law (and her famous kebbeh) and last but not least my godmother. Her dedication for food knowledge and preparation are a true inspiration to me. She holds the keys to amazing secret family recipes, can answer precious questions about my grandmother and my mom and solve tricky wordings in my mom’s recipe notebook...
I have been trying to prepare oven roasted potatoes since I started cooking, made them countless number of times with inconsistent average outcomes: delicious potatoes but something was always missing. I like them golden with a thin dark gold edge, crunchy and crispy from the outside, creamy and soft from the inside. I knew that my only chance to succeed was my fairy godmother since it is one of her signature dishes. Back in July, during our Lebanese vacation, I had a long discussion with her about her famous roasted potatoes (Yes! we can have long discussions about potatoes. Who needs family problems when you can spend hours talking about food!!)

Oven Roasted Potatoes / Technique Recipe

Recipe credits: Rafaella Sargi

Ingredients (as a suggestion)
1 kg (2 lb 4oz) Yukon gold potatoes
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 Tablespoon unsalted butter

I am sharing my findings with you, it is not a classical recipe layout but more of a technique that hopefully let you achieve the same beautiful oven roasted potatoes.

Peel and cut the potatoes in medium sized cubes (1 1/2 inch - 4 cm). Bring a big pot of water to a boil, add salt and the cubed potatoes. Once the water gets back to a boiling stage, let it cook for 5 minutes. Drain the water out and place the pre-boiled potatoes on paper towels. Spread them so they can completely dry and cool. On a shallow baking sheet, place the cooled potatoes, drizzle the same little amount of extra virgin oil, vegetable oil and butter, season with salt and with your hand, toss the potatoes making sure they are all coated with the oil mixture and seasoning. Spread them in a single layer and cook in a hot oven (400F - 200C) for at least 30 minutes before checking on them and tossing them slowly with a silicone spatula. You can check them back every 10 to 15 minutes and toss them as needed until golden brown and crispy from all sides. With a slotted spoon, remove the roasted potatoes from the pan, let them drain on paper towel for a few minutes and put them on a flat serving dish. You can sprinkle them with a fresh herb, pepper, cayenne pepper etc... and serve them next to anything or just by themselves. They are sumptuous!

- You can season the potatoes with thinly sliced garlic and finely chopped cilantro. The garlic herb mixture can be added one or two minutes before the potatoes finish roasting (this will allow the garlic and herb to cook down a little bit and have milder flavors) or tossed raw right before serving the crispy hot potatoes for a bolder result. Your choice.

- Don’t put too much oil. You just need enough oil to coat the potatoes.
- I use Yukon Gold or Baby Dutch Potatoes. (When using baby potatoes, I don't peel them but cut them in half.)
- Try to have all the potatoes pieces about the same size. It helps a lot with the end result: cook at the same time, roast the same way...
- When roasting potatoes I use a dark colored baking pan; it absorbs heat faster and gives a better roasted result.
- Don't overcrowd the baking sheet, the potatoes have to be in ONE SINGLE LAYER.
- Don't use a deep serving bowl. The potato steam will quickly ruin all your "crispy crunchy efforts"!!


recipe updated on June 23rd, 2016.