Are you an extra crispy French-fry fan? I am. Every time I order French fries I ask them to be made extra crispy.
I can’t think of anything sadder then blonde, limp French fries. When French fries are good, they are the best that a potato can hope to be. That is why I make my roasted potatoes as crispy as I possibly can.
You don’t need any special equipment. You don’t need a fryer. All you need is a half sheet pan, a piece of parchment paper and a hot oven.
The key is to roast the potatoes cut-side down for the entire cooking time. This also means that they are hands-off, as there is no need to turn them. They are done when the cut sides have a deep-brown burnished crust and they roast for much longer than you think they need. The potatoes may be cooked through before that, but they will not be crisp.
When they are properly done, you are rewarded with extra-crispy, crunchy, Golden Brown Delicious Potatoes. And, as my good friend and fellow crispy potato lover, Chef Bob Blumer says, “it’s all about the crust. When they are done, and when they are Done, are two completely different things.”
Once you clean and cut the potatoes in half, the essential steps are to toss them in olive oil and kosher salt. Once you’ve done that you can riff on all your favorite flavors. You can add dried spices like garlic, rosemary, Parmesan cheese, za’atar, everything bagel seasoning, etc. before you roast them. You can also season them with truffle salt or other more delicate seasonings like garlic confit and fresh herbs as soon as they come out of the oven.
Serve the crispy potatoes as a side dish or serve them as a nibble—Spanish Tapas style—with drinks. When I do this, I serve them with Aioli for dipping, but feel free to serve them with your favorite dipping sauce or ketchup.
Crispy French-Fry Like Roasted Potatoes
When you are buying the potatoes, buy a medium-small potato, not the smallest available as you will be roasting them for up to 50 minutes and the smaller potatoes have a tendancy to dry out.
24 ounce bag of Petite Fingerlings or new potatoes, cleaned skins left on
1/8 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon Morton kosher salt
½ teaspoon dried rosemary or other seasoning, optional
- Slice potatoes in half and place in a medium-sized bowl. Pour oil over and toss to coat.
- Sprinkle with salt and toss again to coat evenly. If using rosemary, sprinkle with rosemary or other seasoning and toss to coat.
- Set a piece of parchment paper on a metal ½ sheet pan. Place potatoes in a single layer cut-side down on the parchment-paper lined sheet pan.
- Place sheet pan on the oven rack set in the center of the oven. Roast for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown on the cut side and done. The cooking time will depend on the size of the potatoes.
- The potatoes are done when the skin puffs slightly and the potatoes are very crispy and golden brown on the cut side.