Chip Kennedy’s signature potato gratin recipe proves that the best preparations are often the simplest. “One of my cooking class students came up to me not long ago and said, ‘That potato recipe has changed my life!’” he says. You could gussie it up with a little minced garlic, a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg, or chopped herbs such as rosemary, but why gild a perfect lily? This recipe serves 10, but can easily be halved – or doubled, for that matter.
- 10 lbs. medium russet potatoes, approximately the same size
- 1qt. heavy cream
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, preferably white
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Grab the entire sliced potato in your hand to keep it intact, then place it in one corner of an ungreased baking dish large enough to hold the potatoes when they are spread/shingled (see below). Repeat with the remaining potatoes. Carefully spread and pat the potatoes with your hand to make them shingle (spread out but still overlapped) all in the same direction. Heavily season with kosher salt mixed with pepper to taste. Pour the heavy cream evenly over potatoes and place in 350 degrees oven, uncovered for 1 hour or until cream turns very brown and is thick and bubbly, and the potatoes are cooked through. Test for doneness by inserting the tip of a sharp knife into the potatoes; it should pierce them with no resistance. Take out and let cool for at least 10 minutes, then top with freshly grated, good quality Parmesan cheese and serve.