Thursday, March 24, 2011

Home Fried Potatoes With Herbs

Home Fried Potatoes With Herbs
I ate breakfast at one of my favorite restaurants in the City and enjoyed the best-tasting home fries that I’ve ever eaten.  I asked the server what was the underlying component of the dish that offered the unique taste.  He said that the potatoes were cooked in “duck fat.”  Since then, I’ve devised my own recipe for, what I believe, is the best home fries on this planet (sorry, Jersey Diners, but…I am bias…also, I am a born soul from Jersey…not the shore).

I’ve tried this recipe several ways;  Either using purchased duck fat or sautéing duck bacon first, then making the potatoes in the amount of duck fat renderings from the duck bacon, which is very good and a nice supplement to the dish.  I remind you that this isn’t something to eat every day.  It’s more of a treat than anything else.  But, well worth it in the long run.

Home Fried Potatoes With Herbs
4 Idaho Potatoes – about 7 oz. each
½ Teaspoon salt
½ cup of duck fat – could be purchased or the duck fat rendered from duck bacon.  Both work well.  I like using the bacon which could be used to add a protein to the dish.
6 pieces of duck bacon (if not using purchased duck fat)
1 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (if needed)
1 tablespoon of Herbs De Province*
Rosemary sprig for garnish (optional)

Peel potatoes.  Dice into ½” pieces.  Rinse.  Add to pot with salt and enough water to cover.  After water comes to a boil, lower heat and let potatoes cook in salted water for about 7 minutes to soften slightly, but do not overcook.

While potatoes are cooking, make the duck fat, either of two ways:

1)  Melt the ½ Cup of purchased duck fat; or…2) cook (and render the duck fat from) about 6 pieces of duck bacon.  If using duck bacon, after completion of cooking, remove duck bacon and let drain on paper towels.  Keep warm.

When the duck rendering is ready, turn off heat and prep the potatoes.

Drain the potatoes really well—as dry as possible.

Turn on heat again for the duck fat and then slowly add potatoes.  Cook on a low heat.   If the mixture is dry, add a few pieces of unsalted butter.  Sprinkle with Kosher salt and Black Pepper.  Turn potatoes as they brown on each side.  Add Herbs De Province on each side as potatoes continue to cook.    After potatoes are golden brown, remove from pan and let drain on paper towel.  Transfer to serving plate.  Add spring of rosemary and top with duck bacon (if using).

*Herbs De Province – An assortment of dried herbs that are used in Southern France.  Typically, I wouldn’t use dried herbs, but in this instance, there is an exception to my rule.  I make my own HDP, which consists of dried:  basil, fennel seed, lavender, marjoram, rosemary, sage, and thyme.

No comments: