Fondant Potatoes is my choice of side dish for this year’s holiday menu. I do like adding a touch of old charm to the my Christmas table, fondant potatoes were just the thing to match with my upcoming main course recipe. The history of this dish tell of its popularity among European upper class in a times when the profession a butler was quite normal and not something one would only hear about in our beloved Downton Abbey show. In fact, the fondant potatoes never because quite as popular in North America as they are in the old world which I think, is too bad for the latter. This being said you absolutely don’t need to be a trained chef to successfully prepare it, all you need is a few large potatoes, a lump of butter, a sprig of thyme and a pinch of fleur de sel. Now, fleur de sel, which is a type of salt handpicked in France is definitely worth investing in. It has a distinct flavor which subtly elevates the taste of foods it is added on.
6 medium starchy potatoes
3 Tbs canola oil
2 garlic cloves
1-2 Tbs butter
small bunch of fresh thyme
flour de sel or sea salt
1 cup chicken stock
Prep the potatoes: Peel the potatoes and soak them in cold water for about 10 minutes to remove some of the starch. Cut the tops and bottoms of the potatoes and then cut them in two in order to give them a shape as square and as uniform as possible.
Brown the potatoes: Heat the oil in a large thick bottomed pan. Arrange the potatoes in it, add a pinch of salt and fry until you reach a deep golden brown color. Turn the potatoes and add the butter. Throw in the thyme and 2 whole unpeeled garlic cloves. Cook for 2 minutes on medium-high het then add the enough chicken stock so that the potatoes are halfway in the liquid. Cover the pan very loosely with a piece of foil so that the steam can easily escape and for about 25 minutes or until the potatoes and cooked through and the stock and butter have been reduced to a sauce covering the bottom of the pan.
Serve: Transfer to a serving platter, drizzle each of the Fondant Potatoes with some of the sauce top with fresh thyme and a pinch of fleur de sel and serve as a companion to any beef, lamb or game dish.