What Makes Fondant Potatoes Unique?

Fondant potatoes, or pommes de terre fondantes, are a special French delicacy that sounds fancy and looks so appetizing but are rather easy to make. Fondant means "melting" in French, according to the Cambridge Dictionary. And these potatoes are, indeed, melting.

Along with garlic and thyme, these potato rounds are fried in butter or another type of fat and oil in an ovenproof skillet. Then, they're roasted in the oven in some stock or broth until crisp on the outside and very tender, creamy, and velvety inside. Hence the name. They literally melt in your mouth. The stock in which they roast thickens and gets slightly creamy from the potato starch, making a wonderful pan sauce.

Fondants are unique because they have a texture unlike any other type of prepared potato dish. Plus, this starch is much easier to make than other French potato recipes, such as pommes soufflées. And while quite delicious and beautiful on a plate, with a little bit of attention, the recipe isn't difficult. These potatoes are perfect for a holiday dinner and simple enough to make as part of a meal during the busy week.

How to make fondant potatoes

By following a few easy rules, you can have fondant potatoes on your plate in under an hour, according to Pinch and Swirl. Start with the potato. This dish was first made with russet potatoes, which have the necessary starch content for a crisp exterior and soft interior. Or you can use Yukon Gold potatoes, which have a bit less starch, with their yellow flesh and buttery flavor, per Foods for Antiaging.

Choose potatoes that are roughly the same size in order for them to cook evenly, then peel them (save the skins to make potato peel gratin.). From there, cut off a bit of the ends so all of the slices will have exposed sides. Slice the potatoes into 1-inch or 2-inch slices. If you're using russet potatoes, which are starchier than Yukon Gold potatoes, soak them in cool water for 20 minutes for better browning, per Potato Goodness. Then, pat the potatoes dry.

Melt some butter, goose fat, duck fat, beef fat, or schmaltz (chicken fat) in an ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron for the best sear) along with some oil. Add the potato slices, cut them side down, and leave them alone! Moving the potatoes too early will ruin the sear and may tear them. When the potatoes will release easily from the pan, flip them over, brown them again, and add the stock, garlic, and herbs. Finally, put the skillet in the oven, wait 30 minutes, then dig in.

Make the recipe your very own

While the traditional flavoring for this recipe is garlic, thyme, and rosemary, you can always make it your own. Think about what you like to use to top your potatoes. Use a different herb, such as tarragon or oregano. They can be stuffed with cheese (via Chef Jean-Pierre). You could even add chiles or lime, depending on your mood. Just don't tell a French chef!

And you can serve these wonderful potatoes with just about any main dish. Try a tender and juicy roasted chicken, or throw your favorite steak on the grill. Make a flavorful roast pork loin with porcini mushrooms, or even pair them with crispy fried chicken.

If you have any leftovers, just pop them in the refrigerator for up to four days; just don't freeze them, according to Freeze It. To reheat, simply put the potatoes into an ovenproof skillet, spoon over some more stock, and brush each round with some butter. Heat until hot and crisp. Or, you can cut each potato in half, then reheat it in a skillet with some more butter, per Cooktoria.