The humble potato takes on a little class as it is transformed into Fondant Potatoes. These braised potatoes are a crusty, golden brown on the top and a smooth creamy interior with the rich flavor of butter, garlic, and fresh thyme.
Does ‘sweet’ as in candy or frosting come immediately to mind with the mention of ‘fondant’? I am here to tell you that these potatoes are not in the least bit sweet. They are a savory side dish with a delicious essence inside. They are as creamy and smooth as fondant.
What are Fondant Potatoes?
Fondant potatoes are from the French cuisine with the word ‘fondant’ meaning “melting”. Traditionally, fondant potatoes are peeled and cut into round, barrel-like shapes with the top and bottoms cut flat. When served they all look so beautiful and taste wonderful, however, in their round shape they do look a bit like scallops.
There are so many variants to preparing Fondant Potatoes and we are adding our version by cutting the potatoes in cubes rather than the round barrel shape. The large cubes have a crisp golden crust on top and can not be confused with scallops.
How to Prepare Fondant Potatoes:
After the potatoes are shaped they are seasoned and browned, top and bottom in a hot skillet with oil and butter. The potatoes are transferred to a casserole dish with garlic slices and fresh thyme sprigs. If your skillet has a lid you can use it in the oven. This would eliminate transferring the potatoes to a casserole.
Chicken broth and white wine are poured into the casserole dish and the potatoes are covered with the lid, then they are oven-braised until they are tender and creamy.
With the lid on the casserole dish, steam is created as they cook and the potatoes lose that nice crispness from the initial browning. We like to remove the lid from the casserole dish just before serving and turn the oven to broil to re-crisp the top of the potatoes again. Finally, we finish them off with a good sprinkling of salt flakes.
Fondant potatoes are a lovely side dish to serve when you want an eye-catcher and something out of the ordinary.
- More Side Dishes to Consider:
- Sweet Potato-Apple Casserole
- Confetti Quinoa,
- Honey-Lemon Glazed Golden Beets
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 large potatoes, we used Russet/Idaho potatoes
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 1/2 cup chicken broth, more if needed
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- Flaked salt (we used Artisan Salt-Cyprus Flakes)
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into 3 sections of equal length. With a sharp knife, trim each section into a large cube of about 2 1/2 to 3 ounces each.
- As each potato cube is formed add it to a bowl of cold water, soaking the potatoes for about 5 minutes to remove starch from outsides; pat dry with paper towels.
- In a heavy-bottomed skillet set over medium-high heat, add the oil and when it is hot add the potatoes. Sprinkle the exposed side with salt and pepper and brown to a crisp, golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Flip each potato cube over to the seasoned side and brown another 3-4 minutes to a golden color. Brown only the top and bottoms of each potato cube.
- Transfer the potatoes to an oven-proof, lidded casserole dish. * (See Notes)
- Pour off any oil left in the skillet and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the butter, garlic and thyme sprigs. Cook, stirring until the garlic is just fragrant. Add the chicken broth and wine, scraping up all the bits stuck to the pan and bring the liquid to a boil.
- Carefully pour the boiling liquid into the casserole dish and sprinkle the top of the potatoes with the thyme leaves.
- Place the lid on the casserole and transfer the dish to the preheated oven. Cook for 40-50 minutes or until tender when pricked with a knife.
- Remove the casserole from the oven and transfer the potatoes to a serving platter. There should be a slightly thickened residue remaining in the dish that can be spooned over the potatoes, sprinkle with large salt flakes and garnish with thyme sprigs.
- When shaping the potatoes into cubes, save the cuttings for another use.
- If your skillet has a lid you can use it in the oven. This would eliminate transferring the potatoes to a casserole.
- Check the potatoes after they have been cooking for 30 minutes and add a little more chicken broth/wine if needed to prevent the dish from becoming dry.
- When checking the potatoes for doneness, stick a sharp knife tip into the side of the potato rather from the pretty brown top.
Amount Per Serving Calories 167 Total Fat 6g Saturated Fat 2g Cholesterol 8mg Sodium 242mg Carbohydrates 19g Fiber 2.8g Sugar 1.6g Protein 2.7g