Crusty Potato Cubes (Pommes de Terre a la Quercynoise)

Like its neighbor Périgord, the Quercy area of Southwest France is noted for its cuisine, particularly the duck dishes, confit de canard and magret de canard, and the region’s rich, dark red wines.

They are also known for having been invaded by anybody who’s anybody in European history. Romans, Visigoths, Franks, English, you name it. It was once a savagely contested Protestant stronghold in the 16th century that is now predominantly Roman Catholic. All this conquering was for a region that sits on a hard limestone plateau which makes agriculture difficult. Like all things culinary in France, amazing dishes grew from “earthy” things like truffles and potatoes. That explains why these potatoes slowly cooked in duck fat are so good.

These crispy potato cubes go extremely well with roasted chicken and meats, and can replace French fries in any dish looking for a more elegant side.

Pommes de Terre a la Quercynoise- Crispy Potatoes in Duck Fat

These slow-baked potato chunks from the city of Quercy in Southwest France are a perfect example of elevating the basic potato to great heights. Cooked for more than 2 hours in 3 tablespoons of goose or duck fat, these small cubes turn a deep golden brown with a crispy outside and soft inside while leaving almost all the duck fat behind.
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: French, Southwest France
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: My Hungry Traveler

Equipment

  • Large baking dish

Ingredients

  • 12 oz Baking (russet) potatoes
  • 4 tbsp Rendered goose or duck fat
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp Chopped garlic

Instructions

  • 3½ hours before serving, preheat oven to 300° and bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Peel potatoes and chop into 1¼-inch chunks. Add the potatoes and boil for 3 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
  • Melt fat in a large baking dish in the oven. Add the potatoes in a single layer and bake for 2 hours, turning the cubes in the fat every-so-often. Allow all sides to get crispy brown.
  • Raise the oven temperature to 375° and continue backing for another 15 minutes. To serve, sprinkle with salt, garlic, and parsley.

Notes

  • Even though the potatoes will be colorless after an hour, resist the urge to turn the heat up. The cook is slow and deep and can’t be rushed. 

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