1 hour, 15 minutes
6 to 8
These small potatoes are sliced crosswise like hard-boiled eggs, but without quite cutting them apart, so they fan out in a hot oven. Any egg-sized potato will do. For fat you can choose olive oil, butter or leftover drippings from a previous roast, if you have them.
20 to 24 egg-sized potatoes (about 4 to 5 pounds)
8 to 10 dried bay leaves, broken into large pieces
Large bunch fresh thyme
1/2 cup fat such as olive oil, butter or pan drippings
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat the oven
to 375 degrees. Prepare the potatoes: Place a potato in a tablespoon and cut it into one-fourth-inch slices joined at the base (the spoon will prevent the knife from slicing all the way through). Open the slices just slightly and place a piece of bay leaf and a sprig of thyme inside the potato. Repeat with the remaining potatoes and place them in a roasting pan just large enough to hold them.
2. Drizzle the fat
over the potatoes and season them with three-fourths teaspoon of salt and one-fourth teaspoon of pepper, or to taste. Place the pan on the stove top on medium-high heat and cook just until the fat begins to bubble, 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Place the pan
in the oven and roast the potatoes, basting them occasionally with the fat, until browned and crisp, 45 minutes to 1 hour. (The recipe can be prepared up to this point one day ahead; cool the potatoes slightly, then cover and refrigerate them overnight.)
4. To reheat
the potatoes, warm in the roasting pan briefly on the stove top over medium-high heat, about 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a 375-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until thoroughly warmed.
Each of 8 servings: