Potato confit is nothing more than potatoes submerged in olive oil and slowly cooked in the oven at a low temperature until ultra-creamy and luxurious. You might be thinking, “What a greasy mess,” but au contraire! It’s a time-honored method of cooking. The spuds become sumptuous, rich, and buttery—the oil does not go much deeper than the surface.
What is Confit?
Confit is a cooking method commonly associated with duck. It was a traditional way to preserve poultry and other meats before modern refrigeration. The food is cooked in copious amounts of its own fat, which acts as a barrier to air and spoilage. The most famous confit comes from southwest France—duck confit, which is used to make cassoulet.
Potato confit cooks more gently and slowly than roasting, boiling, or braising. The potatoes absorb the flavors of the rosemary and garlic added to the oil. You could also confit carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, and even cherry tomatoes using this method.
The Best Potatoes to Confit
The best potatoes to confit are waxy varieties like baby yellow potatoes, fingerlings, red bliss, new potatoes, and Yukon golds—technically not a waxy potato, but it holds its shape well when cooked. Waxy potatoes won’t disintegrate and fall apart as they cook. They don’t have to be small baby potatoes. Just cut the large ones into 1-inch chunks.
Don’t use starchy potatoes like Russets—the flesh will break down easily and you’ll end up with mush.
The Best Oil for Confit
Good quality olive oil is essential for confit. While it seems like an excessive amount of oil to use, it can be strained and reused—fry an egg, drizzle it over pasta or pizza, or use it anywhere you need olive oil.
Sage, rosemary, and thyme pair well with potatoes. You could also add whole spices like coriander, cumin seeds, and peppercorns. Whole shallots or large pieces of onion would impart so much flavor too. Let your imagination be your guide.
My Favorite Ways to Serve Potato Confit
These potatoes need little embellishment other than flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper. You could:
- Sprinkle in fresh parsley, chives, tarragon, or any herb of your choice before serving.
- Halve the potatoes and brown them in a skillet.
- Squeeze in a little fresh lemon juice for some zippiness.
- Gently smash and crisp them in the oven.
- Turn them into a potato salad.
How to Store Potato Confit
While you could theoretically store the potatoes submerged in the strained olive oil—remove the garlic and herbs—for about month, you’ll want to eat these tasty buds sooner. It’s best to store them out of the oil tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. That is, if they are not consumed immediately! I don’t recommend freezing the potatoes. The texture gets weird.
Potatoes: Simple but Never Boring
Use any type of waxy potatoes like baby yellow potatoes, fingerlings, red bliss, new potatoes, and Yukon golds.
- 1 1/2 pounds baby yellow potatoes, rinsed
- Pinch of sea salt
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 to 4 cups olive oil
- Flaky sea salt, for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
Prepare the potatoes:
Spread the potatoes in a baking dish or deep skillet. It should be large enough for the potatoes to fit in a single layer without a lot of extra space. Sprinkle in a pinch of sea salt. Add the rosemary and garlic. Pour in enough olive oil to just submerge the potatoes. The amount of oil will depend on the size of your vessel.
Cook the potatoes:
Set the potatoes in the oven, uncovered, and bake for 1 hour. Use a skewer to test for doneness. Insert it into one of the larger potatoes—there should be no resistance. If still firm, return them to the oven for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. The exact time will depend on the size of the potatoes.
Cool and serve the potatoes:
Leave the potatoes in the oil for 15 minutes to cool just a little. With a slotted spoon, transfer them to a serving dish. Sprinkle with flaky salt, if using, and serve hot.
Use the oil for cooking! Pass the cooled oil through a fine mesh strainer into a lidded jar. Keep it in the fridge and use within a week or two.
The best way to store the potatoes: Remove them from the oil, tightly cover, and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Freezing is not recommended since the texture will degrade. To reheat, gently microwave them until heated through or brown them in a skillet.
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