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This stovetop-roasting technique gets potatoes crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside in less than thirty minutes, start to finish, without the need to preheat the oven or dirty more than one pan. Spices create a flavorful crust and keep the potatoes tasty even after a week in the fridge.
In this master recipe, the blend of garlic, bay leaves, sage, and thyme is reminiscent of classic American poultry seasoning (and would also taste great on chicken or turkey).
Lior Lev Sercarz, from "Mastering Spice" by Lior Lev Sercarz
Finely grind together the bay leaves, sage, thyme, peppercorns, and garlic.
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 3 medium), scrubbed and cut into 3⁄4-inch chunks
Coat the bottom of a large nonstick skillet with oil (3 to 4 tablespoons), then heat over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the potatoes, season them very generously with salt, and spread them in a single layer (this will prevent the spices from hitting the hot oil directly and burning). Sprinkle the spice blend over the potatoes and stir well to evenly coat the potatoes.
Cover and cook, stirring and scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan every 5 minutes or so, until the potatoes develop a deep brown crust and are almost tender, about 10 minutes. If the spices threaten to burn, reduce the heat. Every time you lift the lid, carefully tilt it to let the condensation on the lid drip back into the pan.
Carefully add 1⁄4 cup water to the skillet, immediately cover, and reduce the heat to low. After the oil popping stops, uncover and stir the potatoes. Cover and cook until the potatoes are completely tender and a little glazed, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve hot or warm.