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Red Potatoes with Bacon

Potatoes accommodate many flavors, none more readily than that of bacon. When bacon is the smoky seasoning as well as a major ingredient, only the best will do, so try to purchase it from a good butcher. Apple wood-smoked bacon is sweetly flavorful; choose a thick-sliced one that will not shrivel away during cooking.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb. small red-skinned potatoes
  • 8 thick-cut bacon slices
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and add water to cover and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat slightly, cover partially and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are just tender, about 12 minutes. Drain. Spread the potatoes out in a single layer on a shallow baking pan and let cool to room temperature.

In a large, heavy fry pan, arrange the bacon slices without overlapping. Cook over medium-high heat, turning several times, until almost crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain and cool. Discard all but 1 Tbs. of the bacon drippings from the pan and set the pan aside. When the bacon is cool, chop it fairly fine.

Place the fry pan over medium-high heat and add the butter to the drippings. When it has melted, add the potatoes and cook, stirring and rolling the potatoes in the pan, until they begin to crisp and brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the bacon, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the bacon is hot and the potatoes are very crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with the 1/4 tsp. salt and the 1/2 tsp. pepper and toss well. Add the parsley and toss again. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Serve hot. Serves 8 to 10.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Thanksgiving, by Michael McLaughlin (Simon & Schuster, 2001).