Welcome to your new favorite way to eat potatoes. Nothing soaks up chicken fat the way potatoes do; they crisp up all golden on the bottom like latkes or French fries but have rich, creamy centers like mashed potatoes.
Herb salt perks them up, but if you don't have any on hand, use regular salt and rain some minced fresh herbs — rosemary and sage would be good choices —directly on the warm potatoes.
You can find schmaltz in the kosher section of some grocery stores, but making it yourself gives you the perfect excuse to also make gribenes, those mouthwatering chicken-skin "cracklins" that are sometimes referred to as "Jewish bacon." If you can't track down any schmaltz, ghee is a fine substitute.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
Water, for boiling
schmaltz or ghee
If the potatoes are unevenly sized, cut them all into large chunks of the same size. Add them to a pot and cover them with cold water so they’re submerged by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer just until the potatoes are tender and can be pierced with a fork, 12 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 500°F with a rack in the upper-middle portion. When the potatoes are ready, drain and put them in a large bowl. Spoon the schmaltz over them — it will melt immediately — and toss to coat with the herb salt.
Spread the potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet. With the back of a fork, gently smash them down just until they’re flat (not so much that they crumble), leaving space between them so steam can escape, for maximum crispy goodness.
Roast the potatoes for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan about halfway through, until they’ve got browned edges all around and the bottoms are a deep brown. Serve right away.
Excerpted from SHAYA by Alon Shaya. Copyright © 2018 by Alon Shaya. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.