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Fondant Potatoes

Golden brown potatoes in a cast iron skillet sprinkled with fresh thyme.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

With their crispy edges, these Fondant Potatoes are a classic French side dish that will elevate the elegance of your next family dinner. This absolutely amazing and wonderful recipe is worthy of being on the dinner table of any dinner party and will leave your guests thinking you’re a classic French chef.

Who doesn’t love potatoes and need another great recipe or two? Give our Skillet Scalloped Potato Gratin and Dutch Oven Potatoes a try too!

Branded image for Fondant Potatoes in a cast iron skillet.

What are Fondant Potatoes?

Fondant potatoes or pommes de terre fondantes are a French side dish that are pan fried in butter and fresh herbs then finish cooking in the oven in rich broth. The results are heavenly with a deep golden brown outside and divinely creamy potatoes on the inside.

If you do a quick scan of the recipe directions, it may seem like a complicated recipe, but the actual execution of this great recipe is really quite easy, just specific. This might be my favorite potato recipe for both taste and easy of cooking.

Freshly cooked potatoes on a white serving platter with the pan sauce poured over and pooling at the bottom.

Are melting potatoes the same as fondant potatoes?

Yes they are. In some restaurants, you can see them on the menu as melting potatoes. They’ve been given this name because the potatoes are tender, so tender it’s like they melt in your mouth.

Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients to make fondant potatoes: avocado oil, homemade chicken stock, salt, pepper, fresh thyme, salted butter, russet potatoes, and fresh garlic.
  • Potatoes — We used russet potatoes. Look for those that are either short and fat or longer and thinner. Try to avoid the fatter bakers as there will be more prep involved and more potato waste with larger potatoes.
  • Fat — This recipe is all about the fat. We used salted butter and avocado oil.
  • Chicken stock — We used homemade chicken stock for the higher fat content and bolder flavor.
  • Seasonings — Fresh thyme and fresh garlic cloves, along with salt and pepper. Table or kosher salt is fine.

How to make Fondant Potatoes

Step 1 — Preheat the oven to 450°F. Peel the potatoes. Place the peeled potatoes in a bowl of salted cold water to prevent them from turning brown while peeling the remainder.

Step 2 — Pat the potatoes dry with a paper towel. Slice the very ends of the potato off to give them flat sides. Then cut the potato into 1-inch discs or cylinders. (See notes below if you have larger potatoes.) Again, with paper towels, pat dry the potato pieces. Season each side with salt and pepper. Roughly chop the garlic into halves or quarters, but not too small.

Step 3 —Add the avocado oil and two tablespoons of butter to a cast iron skillet (or any oven safe skillet) and warm over medium high heat. Once hot, place the cut potatoes in the skillet to pan fry. DO NOT TOUCH for 4 minutes, allowing them to get a good sear. Then give the skillet a good shake to prevent the potatoes from sticking. Continue to move the pan (and potatoes) around for another 3-4 minutes. Lower to medium heat if they are browning too quickly, as you do not want them to burn.

Step 4 — Once the potatoes are golden brown, use a thin spatula like a fish spatula to flip potatoes to the other cut side down. Add butter, and once the butter has melted, add the garlic cloves and fresh thyme. It will take about 30 seconds to a minute for the garlic and thyme to become aromatic.

Step 5 — After the thyme and garlic become fragrant, add the chicken stock and give the skillet a good shake to incorporate the butter, herbs, and stock. Bring the stock to a boil.

Step 6 — Once the stock has begun to boil, turn off the heat, and place the cast iron skillet into the preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes or until a small knife blade, like a paring knife can be easily inserted into the center indicating the potatoes are tender. When out of the oven, discard the garlic and thyme sprigs. Transfer to a serving platter and pour the butter sauce over the potatoes, or serve directly from the pan.

Optional garnishing — sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a few fresh thyme leaves.

Now fully cooked potatoes still in the cast iron skillet, with the thyme and garlic waiting to be removed and discarded.

Recipe notes and tips

  • Use a sharp knife to cut larger potatoes down to cylinders by taking the 1-inch thick chunks and shaving the outside with either a vegetable peeler or knife to have cut potatoes uniform in size. Additionally a round mold can be pressed through the raw potatoes producing perfect cylinders.
  • Uniformity in size is important or you’ll have fondant potatoes that are done at different times.
  • We went with 1-inch thick pieces but you could cut them as thinly as 1/2 inch or slightly larger than an inch, but adjust the cooking time for the altered sizing.
  • The amount of salt and pepper listed is an approximation, you may need more salt or less ground black pepper, it’s a matter of personal taste.
  • We used our own homemade chicken broth or stock because it has a higher fat content than store bought versions. If you use store bought, add more butter than listed to give it a bit more richness.

How to serve melting potatoes

  • Meat and potatoes are a delicious paring. You can go wrong with serving these fork tender fondant potatoes along side your steak, pork chop, or chicken dinner.
  • Fresh vegetables or a green salad.
  • Serve these for any occasion from a simple weeknight meal, to entertaining, to even Christmas dinner.
Close up of the potatoes.

Recipe FAQs

What other potato can I use?

Yukon gold potatoes are the perfect substitution for russets. Yukon gold potatoes have a butter-like texture when cooked, so this cooking method will enhance their deliciousness.

What can I use besides fresh thyme sprigs?

If you don’t like thyme, use any of your favorite fresh herbs like fresh rosemary, oregano, sage, or parsley.

How can I make this vegetarian?

Swap out the chicken broth or stock for vegetable stock.

What can I use instead of avocado oil?

Vegetable oil or any other high heat oil will work. The key is a hot oil without smoking go get a good pan fry to brown the potatoes.

What is the best way to store leftovers?

Store them in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

How do I reheat these potatoes?

These are best served the day of, however, there are a couple of ways you could reheat them. You could quickly warm them through in the microwave and then toss them into a hot skillet with more butter to get the outside crispy again. The other way is to reheat in a 350°F oven in the skillet with more broth.

A single melting potato raised above the platter on a wooden spatula.

Fondant Potatoes

With their crispy edges, these Fondant Potatoes are a classic French side dish that will elevate the elegance of your next family dinner.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Fondant Potatoes
Servings: 4
Calories: 532kcal
Author: Ned Adams

Equipment

  • 12-inch cast iron skillet

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lbs russet potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch circles.
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/2 cup salted butter divided
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves halved
  • 1/2 oz fresh thyme about 10 sprigs
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  • Peel the potatoes and place them in a bowl of salted cold water to prevent them from turning brown while peeling the remainder.
  • Pat the potatoes dry with a paper towel.
  • Slice the very ends of the potato off to give them flat sides. Then cut the potato into 1-inch discs or cylinders.
  • Pat the potato pieces dry with paper towels and season each side with salt and pepper.
  • Roughly chop the garlic into halves or quarters, but not too small.
  • Add the avocado oil and two tablespoons of butter to a cast iron skillet (or any oven safe skillet) and warm over medium high heat.
  • Once hot, place the cut potatoes in the skillet to pan fry. DO NOT TOUCH for 4 minutes, allowing them to get a good sear.
  • After the 4 minutes, give the skillet a good shake to prevent the potatoes from sticking. Continue to move the pan (and potatoes) around for another 3-4 minutes. Lower to medium heat if they are browning too quickly, as you do not want them to burn.
  • Once the potatoes are golden brown, use a thin spatula like a fish spatula to flip potatoes to the other cut side down.
  • Add the remaining butter and once melted, add the garlic cloves and fresh thyme.
  • After the thyme and garlic become fragrant (30 seconds to 1 minute), add the chicken stock and give the skillet a good shake to incorporate the butter, herbs, and stock. Bring the stock to a boil.
  • Place the cast iron skillet into the preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes or until a small knife blade tip can be easily inserted into the center.
  • Discard the garlic and thyme sprigs. Transfer to a serving platter and pour the sauce over the potatoes, or serve directly from the pan.

Optional garnishing

  • Sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a few fresh thyme leaves.

Nutrition

Calories: 532kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 908mg | Potassium: 1327mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 886IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 3mg

Dutch Oven Daddy is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

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