Rosemary Garlic Fried Potatoes by The Pioneer Woman

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Sometimes you just need to throw potatoes in a pot and fry them. You just do. But in all my experience with frying potatoes through the years, I’ve found that simply throwing them (however violently) into a pot of oil when they’re raw just will never result in that magical, crispy wonderfulness that potatoes are meant to have. The best approach, I’ve found, is to cook the potatoes (whether by boiling or roasting) before frying them. The result is crispy, awesome potatoes every time!

Make these the next time you’re serving up steaks, burgers, pork chops…or anything! And I wouldn’t put it past myself to serve these with a salad. (But maybe that’s just me.)

 
The Cast of Characters. This is a complicated one, folks! Ha. Potatoes, rosemary, garlic, and vegetable oil for frying. Done!

 
 
Start by scrubbing the potatoes clean and cutting them into chunks. If they’re larger potatoes, cut them in half lengthwise, then make a couple of cuts in the opposite direction. If they’re smaller, just cut them in fourths.

At the same time, slice the garlic cloves as thin as you can! I used about 10 small cloves.

 
 
This is about 3 1/2 pounds of potatoes, but use as many (or as few) as you need.

 
 
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, then carefully add the potatoes. Boil them until they’re tender, about 15-20 minutes.

 
 
Then drain them…

 
 
And pour them onto a sheet pan in a single layer.

 
 
This will allow them to get totally dry; you don’t want any water on the potatoes when you put them in the oil!

A note about the tenderness of the potatoes: How much you cook/boil them depends on how “neat” and tidy (or unruly and jagged) the potatoes stay when you fry them. I made a batch earlier this week when I was filming my Food Network show, and I stopped boiling them when they were just barely tender; the skins had not started to loosen, and the potatoes still looked pretty much the way they did when I dropped them into the water to cook.

This time, I decided to take it a little farther and cook the potatoes until they were really tender and falling apart. (I’ll tell you the difference in frying a little later in this post, but just wanted you to know you have options depending on what you’re looking for!)

 
 
Heat a pot of oil (put it on the back burner if you have little kiddoes in the house!) to about 350-360 degrees. Use a slotted spatula or spoon to carefully lower some of the potatoes in the oil. You’ll have to work in batches, depending on the size of your pot. (It took me about 5 batches of frying in the size pot I had.)

 
 
Cook them for about 3 to 4 minutes, then check the potatoes and make sure they are starting to get golden and crisp…

 
 
Then drop in a few garlic slices and a sprig of rosemary (I use a spatula just to make sure I don’t get splashed with hot demon oil.

About the garlic and rosemary: Basically, you’re going to drop in a fresh batch of garlic and rosemary toward the end of each batch of potatoes. This doesn’t so much infuse the cooking oil with the flavors (though I think it certainly does a bit) as much as it fries the garlic and rosemary for the finished dish. (Plus it just looks pretty!)

 
 
Fry the potatoes, garlic, and rosemary for another minute or so, and when the potatoes are super golden and crisp, remove them all to a paper towel lined sheet pan. (Be sure to really fish out the little slices of garlic so you don’t wind up with burned garlic later.)

 
 
Immediately sprinkle the potatoes generously with kosher salt to make sure the salt sticks!

 
 
Then just keep frying in batches…

 
 
Draining and sprinkling with salt…

 
 
Until you have a big, beautiful pan of potatoes! I set the pan on the stovetop next to the pot of oil just to make sure they stay warm.

 
 
You can strip the leaves off the rosemary (they’ll basically crumble off pretty easily) and let them be part of the potatoes, and/or you can lay the fried springs on top for serving.

 
 
So the difference between how soft you get them during boiling can be seen right here. The other day when I only boiled the potatoes until they were barely tender, the chunks stayed together and each piece of potato was totally discernible from the next. Here, you can see that pieces of potato skin, little rough pieces of potato, are all over the place. It’s my personal preference, but you can do whatever your heart tells you to do.

Enjoy these, friends!