Recipe For Pommes Rissolees (French Browned Potatoes)


Pommes rissolées are a French classic. They are crisp, cube-shaped, pan-fried potatoes flavored with herbs.

I made one batch the traditional way by cooking it in duck fat, but for the vegetarians in our house, I made a similar version with a combination of oil and butter. I added ground saffron and a hint of cayenne pepper for color and flavor, which are non-traditional but really enhance the final result.

We had a huge bag of potatoes left from Thanksgiving grocery shopping and I couldn’t think of a better way to finish them off. I hadn’t made this French classic for the family since our last visit to Paris. It immediately took us all back in time to the open air markets, the Rodin Museum, and the picnic we had in the Jardin de Luxembourg. Food can be many things, and today it was a trip down memory lane. And what delicious memories they are!

1. Info for Pommes Rissolees (French Browned Potatoes)

  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Servings: 8
  • Calories: 335 kcal

2. Ingredients for Pommes Rissolees (French Browned Potatoes)

  • 16 Yukon potatoes
  • 1/2 cup duck fat, as needed
  • 6 cloves garlic, halved, lengthwise
  • 2 sprigs French tarragon, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons garlic chives, finely snipped
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon saffron (optional), finely ground using a mortar and pestle
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional), as needed
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper (or black pepper), freshly ground
  • 3 teaspoons salt

3. Directions:

  1. Parboiling the potatoes (see tips): Wash the potatoes and place them whole in a large pot (no need to peel them). Fill it with cold water until the potatoes are barely covered. It’s important to start with cold water so the potatoes cook evenly. Bring to a boil, add 1 teaspoon of salt and reduce the heat to medium-high (if you cook the potatoes at a roaring boil, they might fall apart). As soon as the water reaches a boil, cook for about 10-12 minutes. Test, using a fork; the potatoes should be slightly tender but still firm. Remove from the pot. Drain the potatoes  thoroughly and let them cool a little (do not rinse and let the liquid evaporate). Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle and have dried (with no excess water), remove the skin. Dice them into 1/4-inch cubes.
  2. Browning the potatoes: Preheat the oven to 200°F. Divide the diced potatoes into 4 batches. In a large non-stick pan, melt 2 tablespoons of duck fat. Add half a clove of garlic and the first batch of potatoes. Reduce the heat to medium-high. Slightly cover the pan with a sheet of aluminum foil. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Toss frequently, as soon as one side of the diced potatoes is browned. Gently lift the potatoes using a silicone spatula without applying any pressure so they don’t get smashed and remain crispy. Sprinkle the crisp potatoes with a little of the herbs, 1/4 teaspoon of ground saffron, 1/4 of teaspoon of cayenne pepper (if used) and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Add more duck fat if needed. Cook for another 3-4 minutes. Toss well until the herbs are stuck to the potatoes. Check for doneness of the potatoes. They should be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Transfer them onto a greased baking pan. Immediately season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt while the potatoes are still glistening. Place the pommes rissolées in the oven while the rest of the batches of potatoes are being browned. Clean the pan with a paper towel. Add more duck fat, flavor the fat with half a clove of garlic and brown the rest of the potatoes until all the ingredients are used. Just before you’re ready to serve, sauté the pommes rissolées one more time in the pan.
  3. Transfer to a nice serving platter. Serve hot.
  4. I served them with duck breast, a salad on the side and a garlic chive-flavored goat cheese dip.
  5. Serve immediately.
  6. Bon appétit!

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