Roasted potatoes are a classic side dish for dishes including steak, fish and chicken. Like baked potatoes, roasted potatoes are cooked in the oven, but you cut the potatoes into pieces. Like any food, temperature and cooking time are key in getting the dish right. In the case of roast potatoes, they should be crisp and golden on the outside and soft on the inside.
Roasted potatoes take around 50 minutes to cook. You may need to adjust this cooking time to suit your preferences. As a general rule, the longer you cook the potatoes, the crispier they will be. Of course, overcooking leads to dried out or burned potatoes. Don't forget to allow 10 to 15 minutes to wash, peel and cut the potatoes.
For a gas oven, heat it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for roasted potatoes. The oven should be at the correct temperature before you put the pan of potatoes into it. If you're using a fan oven, set it at 400 F.
Always wash potatoes in cold water before preparing them. Chop the potatoes into the desired size, keeping in mind that larger pieces take longer to cook. Coat the potatoes in a fat, such as olive oil, butter or goose fat. You may season your potatoes with salt, pepper, rosemary sprigs, oregano, paprika, nutmeg, garlic or thyme. Roasted potatoes can be cooked with skin on or peeled, depending on which you prefer.
If possible, use fresh Yukon Gold potatoes, which are slightly smaller than standard baking potatoes and have thinner skins. Freshness is important when roasting potatoes. Use firm potatoes and avoid using potatoes that have started to sprout. If you have one, use a nonstick roasting pan. If you don't have a nonstick pan, grease the pan well. When you place the potatoes in the oven, make sure the potatoes aren't touching. As you roast, check the potatoes often and flip them occasionally so each side gets golden brown and crispy.
Charlie Higgins is journalist, editor and translator based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has written for a variety of lifestyle and niche market websites, including International Food Trader, The Olive Oil Times, microDINERO, Sounds and Colours, Connecting Worlds and The Buenos Aires Reader.
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