These small potatoes are sliced crosswise like hard-boiled eggs, but without
quite cutting them apart, so they fan out in a hot oven. Any egg-sized potato will
do. For fat you can choose olive oil, butter or leftover drippings from a previous
roast, if you have them.
20 to 24 egg-size potatoes (about 4 to 5 pounds)
8 to 10 dried bay leaves, broken into large pieces
Large bunch fresh thyme
1/2 cup fat such as olive oil, butter or pan drippings
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Prepare the potatoes: Place a potato in a tablespoon
and cut it into one-fourth-inch slices joined at the base (the spoon will prevent
the knife from slicing all the way through). Open the slices just slightly and place
a piece of bay leaf and a sprig of thyme inside the potato.
Repeat with the remaining
potatoes and place them in a roasting pan just large enough to hold them.
Drizzle the fat over the potatoes and season them with three-fourths teaspoon
of salt and one-fourth teaspoon of pepper, or to taste. Place the pan on the stove
top on medium-high heat and cook just until the fat begins to bubble, 2 to 3 minutes.
Place the pan in the oven and roast the potatoes, basting them occasionally with
the fat, until browned and crisp, 45 minutes to 1 hour. (The recipe can be prepared
up to this point one day ahead; cool the potatoes slightly, then cover and refrigerate
To reheat the potatoes, warm in the roasting pan briefly on the stove top over
medium-high heat, about 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a 375-degree oven for 15
to 20 minutes until thoroughly warmed.