Crunchy Roast Potatoes with Saffron
This is my old favourite recipe for roast potatoes but with a new twist, and that's a flavouring of saffron – not too much, just a hint – and with the added dimension of a deep saffron colour, which makes this look even more irresistible.
Classic plain roast potatoes are cooked in exactly the same way, minus the saffron, and don't forget, it's always important to serve them straight away, before they lose their crunchiness.
This recipe is from Delia's Complete How to Cook. Serves 4
First of all crush the saffron to a powder with a pestle and mortar.
Then place the potatoes in a saucepan with sufficient boiling water to almost cover them, add a level dessertspoon of salt and half the saffron powder, cover with a lid and simmer gently for 6 minutes. Use a timer, as it's important not to overcook them at this stage.
When the time is up, lift a potato out using the skewer to see if the outer edge is fluffy. You can test this by running the point of a skewer along the surface – if it stays smooth, give them 2 or 3 more minutes. Then drain off the water, place the lid back on the pan and, holding the lid firmly and protecting your hand with a cloth, shake the saucepan vigorously. This is to create a fluffy surface so the finished potatoes will be really crunchy.
Now mix the oil with the rest of the saffron powder, then remove the tray from the oven and place it over a direct medium heat.
Next, using a long-handled spoon, carefully but quickly lift the potatoes into the hot fat, tilt the tray and baste them well, then, using a small brush, quickly paint the potatoes with the saffron oil, making sure they are well coated. Now return the tray to the highest shelf of the oven for 40-50 minutes, until the potatoes are golden and crunchy.
Sprinkle with a little salt before serving with meat or fish or with my Marinated Chicken with Honey and Ginger recipe.
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C) and place the baking tray with 2 tablespoons of oil in it to pre-heat as well.
You will also need a solid baking tray measuring 16 x 11 inches (40 x 28 cm).