Monday, January 14, 2013

Crispy Potato Stacks

I was looking for a side dish to go with my Roasted Chicken Thighs with Lemon and Thyme and this variation on potatoes looked tasty and pretty; it was perfect.  

Original Recipe:

Mini Herbed Pommes Anna

The more carefully you arrange the potato slices, the prettier the results and the better the individual-size cakes will hold together.

12 servings    Recipe by: Molly Stevens; Bon App├ętit; November 2012 


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 12-24 small tender thyme sprigs plus 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 3/4 pounds small waxy potatoes (such as Yukon Gold or German Butterball), each slightly larger than a golf ball
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper 

 Special Equipment

  • A standard 12-cup muffin pan; a mandoline


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Brush muffin cups all over with butter. Line bottoms with parchment-paper rounds. Arrange 1-2 small thyme sprigs in center of each round. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon butter into bottom of each cup.
  • Add chopped thyme and garlic to remaining butter in saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Using mandoline, slice potatoes crosswise into very thin rounds (less than 1/16-inch thick), placing them in a large bowl as you work. Pour herb butter over and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat well.
  • Divide potato slices among muffin cups, layering overlapping slices to create a circular pattern. Lightly press center of each to make compact. Drizzle any remaining butter and seasoning from bowl over.
  • Cover muffin pan tightly with foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake until potatoes can be pierced easily with the tip of a knife, about 35 minutes. Remove foil; invert a rimmed baking sheet over pan. Turn, lightly tapping on counter, releasing potatoes onto sheet. Rearrange any slices that may have fallen out. Using a metal spatula, carefully turn cakes, thyme sprigs facing down. Discard parchment. DO AHEAD Potatoes can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.
  • Increase heat to 425°. Uncover cakes if needed. Bake until bottoms and edges are golden and crispy, 25-30 minutes. Carefully turn cakes, thyme sprigs facing up.

My version: 
I only needed two servings (not twelve) so I cut the recipe down. 

I do not have a mandoline.  Actually, come to think of it, I do.  I got one as a gift.  But truthfully I’m afraid of it, especially after my latest finger slicing mishap.   Instead of using a mandoline, I just used a knife to cut the potatoes into thin slices, which works just as well.  However, it requires a sharp knife and some patience.   

I was in a bit of a hurry, so 75+ minutes that the recipe calls for did not work for me.  Instead, I tossed the sliced potatoes with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and then placed them individually on a cookie sheet to bake at 400° for about 12 minutes to cook the potatoes.  Laying the potatoes flat allowed them to cook much quicker than if they were in stacks.   

Then I put some of the herb butter mixture in the bottom of the muffin pan and then stacked the potatoes and then drizzled more of the butter on top.  I put it in the oven at 425° for about 12 minutes until the tops looked crispy.   I didn’t flip them because I ran out of time - the chicken was ready.  
Butter with garlic and thyme.

Verdict:  The potatoes were really good and I liked the presentation.   I will definitely make these again.   Next time I will just use a cookie sheet as I think the stacks will be fine and stay upright without the muffin tin.   That way more of the potatoes will get crispy on the edges rather than just the tops.  I will also flip the stack so that both sides get crispy.   Can you tell I liked the crispy pieces better?   This was the perfect side to go with the chicken


(2013 New Recipe #2)

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