Fondant potatoes have seared, golden brown crust and buttery, melt-in-your-mouth centers. Start these easy fondant potatoes on the stove then finish them in the oven for a drool-worthy side dish or appetizer.
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Just when you thought you had tried every potato recipe, here comes the fondant potato! These potatoes are herby, garlicky, golden spheres of fork-tender goodness infused with deep, savory flavor. Make any meal feel gourmet with this fondant potato recipe.
Why This Potatoes Fondant Recipe Works
- Aesthically Pleasing – This delicious side dish is often served at fine dining establishments so imagine the surprise when your guests see it on their plates!
- Simple – As impressive as this dish looks, it’s made with simple ingredients that are pantry staples.
- Easy to Make – Simply sear both ends of the potatoes, then simmer them in a garlic and herb-infused stock before popping it in the oven. Occasionally baste it until it’s soft and you’re done!
What are fondant potatoes?
Fondant potatoes, also known as melting potatoes or pommes de terre fondantes, are a French side dish. Cylinder shaped potatoes are pan seared until crisp then roasted in the oven with aromatic chicken stock. The final result is a crispy potato with a creamy middle.
Tools You’ll Need
Ingredients You Will Need for Potatoes Fondant
Use these pantry staples to make gourmet-style potatoes.
- Organic russet potatoes – These are the best potatoes for fondant potatoes because they are starchy. They absorb flavor easily.
- Avocado oil – Coat the potatoes with oil and use the rest for the hot skillet.
- Kosher salt – Use Diamond Crystal brand. Be generous when seasoning potatoes.
- Freshly cracked black pepper – Freshly cracked pepper has a stronger, fresher taste than regular pepper.
- Salted butter – Added for basting the potatoes on the stove.
- Fresh thyme – This herb has a slightly sweet and minty undertone, along with subtle peppery notes. It adds a fragrant quality to the potatoes.
- Garlic – Halve them width-wise. This infuses the stock with garlic flavor without burning the garlic.
- Chicken stock – This boosts the flavor of the potatoes. Use low-sodium chicken stock to control the saltiness of this dish.
- Flaky salt, to taste
- Lemon, for squeezing
How To Make Fondant Potatoes
With this recipe, you’ll learn how to cut fondant potatoes. The most difficult part is to press the potatoes through the metal mold, but after that, the rest of the recipe is it’s smooth sailing.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Carve potato. Slice the potatoes crosswise into 1¼-inch pieces. Use a 1½-inch metal ring mold, to punch out the center of each slice of potato. (It’s okay if some of the pieces don’t come out completely flat, but try your best.) Discard the potato scraps or save for making my Herbed Mashed Potatoes. You should end up with 12-13 rounds.
3. Season. Pat potatoes dry then transfer potato rounds to a large mixing bowl and add 1 tablespoon avocado oil, 1½ – 2 teaspoons of kosher salt (use your judgement as you know your salt preference best!), and black pepper to taste. Mix well until potatoes are coated in oil and seasonings.
4. Sear. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat until hot. Lower heat to medium high and add remaining 2 tablespoons avocado oil. Once hot, add potatoes and cook on each side for 5-6 minutes or until golden on both sides. Keep a watchful eye on the bottoms as they cook and adjusting heat, if necessary.
5. Baste. Move potatoes to one side then add thyme, halved garlic, and butter, placing at the bottom of the skillet. Once butter melts, tilt skillet and baste the potatoes for 1 minute.
6. Bake. Add stock, bring mixture to a boil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place the fondant potatoes in oven for 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Baste potatoes every 10 minutes until cooked through.
7. Serve. Baste potatoes one last time before serving. Finish with flaky salt and a generous squeeze of lemon juice (optional, but strongly recommended). Serve with steak or skillet chicken.
Tips and Tricks
- When possible, opt for extra large potatoes with even roundness throughout. This makes it easier to achieve that uniform cylinder shape.
- Pat dry the potatoes before seasoning. This ensures the seasoning adheres to the surface. It also prevents the potatoes from sticking to the pan later.
- Seasoning is crucial for this recipe. I provide a range for seasoning with salt but always taste and use your instincts when seasoning. Underseasoned potatoes will result in a flat dish.
- Add potatoes fondant to an already heated pan. That’s how you get that beautiful crust.
- Remember to baste the potatoes every 10 minutes as they bake. This will help to coat the potatoes in the savory sauce.
- These are best served immediately out of the oven. However, you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat them in the oven or air fryer, adding more chicken stock.
- Potatoes – Use Yukon gold potatoes as a substitute for Russets.
- Stock – Vegetable stock is a good substitute for chicken stock.
- Bacon – Wrap each cylinder with a strip of bacon and secure it with a fresh sprig of thyme then proceed with the cooking instructions.
- Herbs – Instead of thyme, you can use another herb, like fresh rosemary.
- Animal Fat – Instead of adding oil to the pan, you can use duck fat. It has a higher smoking point, which allows for a crispier and golden exterior on the potatoes. It also imparts a savory, slightly sweet flavor that adds complexity to the dish.
What to Serve with Fondant Potatoes
- Beef – No matter how you slice it, beef and potatoes are a culinary match made in heaven. Try this side with Steak Salad, Chimichurri Steak, or Five-Spice Braised Short Ribs.
- Roasted Meat – The buttery flavor of these potatoes tastes amazing with a pot roast or Roasted Chicken.
- Seafood – Serve this with fish for a delicious pescatrian meal. It’s the perfect addition to this Honey-Soy Sheet Pan Salmon.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is confit vs fondant potatoes?
Confit potatoes are potatoes slow-cooked in flavorful fat, typically duck fat, until they become tender. Fondant potatoes are pan-seared and then roasted with butter and chicken stock. Confit potatoes are best when made with waxy potatoes while potatoes fondant works best with starchy potatoes.
What do you serve with fondant potatoes?
Fondant potatoes pair well with a variety of main dishes such as roasted meats and fish. Consider serving them alongside dishes like braised short ribs and grilled vegetables for a well-balanced meal.
What is the history of fondant potatoes?
Fondant means “melting” in French. This references the creamy center of the cooked potatoes. This dish originated in France during the 19th century and remains popular around the world among chefs.
Can you buy fondant potatoes?
You aren’t likely to find this dish in a grocery store but you may find it on the menu of a restaurant that specializes in French cuisine. For freshness and quality, your best bet is making fondant potatoes from the comfort of your own kitchen.
Looking for More Side Dish Recipes
- Gruyère and Parmesan Potato Stacks
- Cheesy Garlic Bread
- Stovetop Gouda Mac and Cheese
- Baked Candied Yams
- Balsamic Glazed Cipollini Onions
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- 1½-Inch Metal Ring Mold
- 10-inch cast iron skillet
- Mixing bowl
- 4 extra large organic russet potatoes, peeled, bottoms trimmed for flat surface.
- 3 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
- 1½ – 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste diamond Crystal
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 6 tablespoons salted butter
- 14 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 head garlic, halved width-wise
- 1 cup chicken stock, low sodium
- flaky salt, to taste
- 1 large lemon, for squeezing
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Carve potato. Slice the potatoes crosswise into 1¼-inch pieces. Use a 1½-inch metal ring mold, to punch out the center of each slice of potato. (It's okay is some of the pieces don't come out completely flat, but try your best.) Discard the potato scraps or save for making my herbed mashed potatoes. You should end up with 12-13 rounds.
- Season. Pat potatoes dry then transfer potato rounds to a large mixing bowl and add 1 tablespoon avocado oil, 1½ – 2 teaspoons or to taste kosher salt (use your judgment as you know your salt preference best!) and black pepper to taste. Mix well until potatoes are coated in oil and seasonings.
- Sear. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat until hot. Lower heat to medium high and add remaining 2 tablespoons avocado oil. Once hot, add potatoes and cook on each side for 5-6 minutes or until golden on both sides. Keep a watchful eye on the bottoms as they cook and adjusting heat, if necessary.
- Baste. Move potatoes to one side then add thyme, halved garlic, and butter, placing at the bottom of the skillet. Once butter melts, tilt skillet and baste the potatoes for 1 minute.
- Bake. Add stock, bring mixture to a boil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven for 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Baste potatoes every 10 minutes until cooked through.
- Serve. Baste potatoes one last time before serving. Finish with flaky salt and a generous squeeze of lemon juice (optional, but strongly recommend). Serve with steak or skillet chicken.