From America's Test Kitchen Season 2: Bacon, Eggs, and Homefries
Whether made at home or eaten out, home fries frequently suffer from the same problems: greasy or undercooked potatoes, and bland or too-spicy flavors. We wanted to develop a recipe that produced potatoes with a crisp, deep golden brown crust and a tender, moist interior. We started with the type of potato and determined that medium-starch Yukon Golds beat out russets and reds, remaining moist even when crisped on the outside. Attempts to cook raw diced potato in the skillet ended in failure; precooking was the way to go. But leftover potatoes tasted like—leftovers. We tried baking, boiling, and dicing the potatoes before frying them, but they overcooked, turning to mush and sticking to the pan. What finally worked was parcooking the potatoes—placing them in water and bringing them just to a boil, then immediately draining them before frying. This approach gave the interior of the potatoes a head start in the cooking process, but the potatoes weren’t in the water long enough to absorb much liquid. The result: firm cubes of potato with crisp, browned exteriors. A combination of butter (for its rich flavor) and oil (for its higher smoke point) worked best for frying. Onion is the perfect foil for these potatoes; we cooked it in the skillet before adding the potatoes.
Serves 2 to 3
If you need to double this recipe, instead of crowding the skillet, cook two batches of home fries separately. While you make the second batch, the first can be kept hot and crisp by spreading them on a cookie sheet and placing them in a 300-degree oven. The paprika adds a warm, deep color, but can be omitted. An alternative is to toss in 1 tablespoon minced parsley just before serving the potatoes.