Potatoes Anna is a beautiful dish for a special occasion. Photo by Keller+Keller Photography
I’ve had my heart broken by this dish many times, because it’s as beautiful as it is delicious when it releases from the pan properly. However, it can stick to the pan if you don’t use the exact right pan, and therein lies the heartbreak if you’ve spent the time trying to make it beautiful for a special dinner. So line your pan with parchment paper. I don’t think there are enough superlatives in the English language to adequately describe this dish.
- 1/4 cup any poultry fat
- 3-1/2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced to 1⁄16 inch thick
- 1-1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, with a rack in the middle.
- Melt the fat in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over low heat. When melted, pour the fat into a large bowl, and add the potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss gently with a silicone spatula to coat thoroughly.
- Line the bottom of the skillet with a round of parchment paper. Arrange the potatoes in overlapping concentric circles in the skillet. You should be able to make at least three layers. If there’s any fat remaining in the bowl, scrape it onto the potatoes. Press down on the potatoes with a wide metal spatula.
- Bake for a total of 45 minutes, pressing down on the potatoes with a wide metal spatula after 20 minutes. The potatoes are done when the outside edges are golden brown and the potatoes in the center are tender when pierced with a fork. Let stand, covered, at room temperature for 5 minutes.
- Carefully loosen the edges with a flexible, heat-resistant spatula. Invert a plate with a rim over the skillet. Using potholders, and holding the plate and skillet together firmly, invert the skillet. The potatoes should drop onto the plate. Peel off the parchment paper to reveal a beautiful dish of lightly browned, concentric potato slices. Slice into wedges to serve.
This article, along with the following recipes, were excerpted with permission from The Fat Kitchen, by Andrea Chesman, published by Storey Publishing.
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