4-6 medium potatoes, (Yukon Gold or Russet)
Coarse kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
For the Garlic confit:
½ cup light olive oil or neutral oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (
½ cup garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
a few sprigs thyme
Heat the oven to 425°F / 220ºC with a rack in the lower-middle position. Make the garlic confit: Heat the oil and unsalted butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat until it reaches 220º F. Reduce the heat to low, add the thyme sprigs and garlic, and cook until they are soft and lightly golden brown, 20-25 minutes. It should be lightly bubbling away but not spitting oil or smoking. Take the thyme out after 15 minutes or so. Make sure to keep the temperature below 260ºF or it can burn. Stir the garlic occasionally to make sure they brown evenly. Set aside to cool. Scrub the potatoes clean and pat them dry with a paper towel. Cut slits ⅛-inch to ¼-inch apart in the potato, stopping just above the bottom so that the slices stay connected. (Laying a wooden spoon or chopsticks next to the potato makes this easier. Cut straight down and stop when the knife hits the spoon.) Arrange the potatoes in a baking dish cut side up. Brush the potatoes all over with the garlic oil, including the bottoms. Sprinkle the potatoes generously with salt and pepper. Bake the potatoes for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and brush the potatoes again with the garlic oil. Make sure to get the oil down into the space between the slices. Bake for another 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes are starting to crisp on the edges. Remove the pan from the oven once more and tuck four or five roasted garlic cloves between the slits of each potato. Return to the oven and bake another 10-20 minutes until the edges are crisp and brown and the center can be easily pierced with a paring knife). Serve immediately while hot and crispy!

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