Potatoes Sautéed in Butter
Serves 8. Adapted by Jennifer Creger from a recipe in “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck (Alfred A. Knopf).
4 lbs. small new potatoes, washed and dried
6 to 8 tbls. clarified butter (see note)
1/2 tsp. salt
4 to 6 tbls. butter, softened
4 to 6 tbls. minced fresh tarragon
1. In a heavy skillet large enough to hold the potatoes in one layer, add enough clarified butter to coat the pan and place over moderately high heat. Add the potatoes when the clarified butter is very hot but not coloring. Cook for 2 minutes, regulating heat so butter remains very hot but not coloring. Shake the skillet back and forth to roll the potatoes onto another side for 2 minutes. Continue for 4 or 5 minutes. Sprinkle potatoes with salt and roll them again.
2. Lower heat, cover the skillet, and cook for about 15 minutes, shaking the potatoes every 3 to 4 minutes. They are cooked when they are pierced easily with a knife. Hold the cover slightly off the skillet, and pour out the sautéing butter. Off the heat, add softened butter and tarragon, sprinkle with pepper, and roll the potatoes in the skillet. Arrange them around the chicken or place in a vegetable dish.
Note: Clarified butter is unsalted butter that has been slowly melted to evaporate most of the water. The milk solids sink to the bottom of the pot. Any foam is skimmed off the top and the clear or clarified butter is skimmed off the milk solids.