The fact that you can buy frozen roast potatoes has confirmed to me that people don't know how to make roast potatoes but it's super easy and makes you look like a superb cook to your friends and family. This is the VITAL recipe to have to hand come Christmas. Don't worry about the turkey needing a lower temperature, cook the turkey to be ready to take out of the oven 1 hour before you want to eat, then turn up the temperature. Not only does the resting time help the meat, it then means you don't have to worry.
Even some really good cooks don't know how to make these. The perfect roast potato should be golden and crunchy on the outside and lovely and fluffy within. The perfect accompaniment to Christmas lunch or any other roast (and just maybe a delicious midweek treat!) What's more is depending on what fat you use, these are really cheap to make (if you're smart, why not save some fat from roasting a duck to make these later, which kind of makes one of the ingredients free!) No cheating with flour either. Just two ingredients. Done.
The Best Roast Potatoes - the below amount easily serves 3 but you can scale up
Floury potatoes - as many as you want but I used about 4 medium sized spuds. This served 2 adults and a toddler. You need to bear in mind that people really like roast potatoes.
2-3 tbsp Duck or Goose fat (or vegetable oil if you don't have either or would like a vegetarian version. Dripping or lard is also good.)
Peel your spuds and cut them into pieces of the same size. What size you chose is basically up to you as long as you're consistent but I tend to look at the potatoes and decide once I see what size they are but it's normally bigger than an inch (2.5cm) and smaller than 2 inches (5cm).
Put into a saucepan and cover with boiling water. Bring to the boil and boil for 7-10 minutes. You kind of get a feel for this, how long will depend on how old your potatoes are. Drain your spuds and put the lid back on. Give a shake and a shimmy of the saucepan with the lid on. Not too hard because you want the surface to be roughed up without the potatoes breaking up. Have a look, if they're not showing any signs of roughing up, be a bit more aggressive. If you find you've really not boiled them for long enough and they're showing no signs of being fluffy at all, you can save the day and cheat and use a fork to rough up the surface, but this takes a bit longer and doesn't quite work so well.
Put the oven on to 220oC / 450F and put a baking dish or tray into the oven with the fat or oil in it to heat. You want the fat really hot. While the fat is heating, leave the potatoes to cool a bit, if you have a lot in the saucepan, turn them out onto a cold plate. Losing the steam helps them crisp up.
When the fat is hot, carefully bring out the tray or dish onto a heatproof mat and put in the potatoes, carefully as the fat can splash. As you add the potatoes, the fat should sizzle, if it doesn't put the tray back in the oven to heat up more. Use a spoon to poor some of the hot fat from the dish over each potato and return to the oven. Lower the heat to 200oC / 400F and roast for 45 mins or so turning once or twice or until they are golden, crispy and delicious. Just be aware that if you're cooking a lot of these, do use a big tray because you need space around the potatoes for them to go crispy. Also be aware if it's Christmas day and the oven door is being opened multiple times they may need a little longer. Remember my top tip though is to get your turkey done an hour before you want to eat, wrap it in foil to keep warm then up the temperature in the oven to get the potatoes on. Much easier.
Best served as soon as possible after cooking to be at their crunchiest.