Before beginning, please see my recipe notes for a quick suggestion on the preparation of your russet potatoes.
To cut your potatoes, rinse potatoes and fill a medium bowl with cold water. Cut potatoes into your barrel shaped rounds (I used a round metal biscuit cutter and trimmed as needed to smooth out all sides) and place into the bowl of water.
Once all of the potato rounds are cut, allow the potatoes to soak in the bowl of water for about 5 minutes to remove the starch. Rinse again in cold water and pat the rounds dry. Then season with salt & pepper (I used white pepper) before transferring into your heated pan.
Classic Creamy Fondant Potatoes
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F (218 degrees C) and bring your cast iron skillet (or other heavy bottomed oven safe skillet) with olive oil to medium heat on the stove top.
Place cut potato rounds in your heated pan, and cook until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Flip and cook the second side until also golden brown. Add butter and melt in the skillet, spooning over the first browned side of the potatoes. Add chives (and optional garlic cloves).
Pour the chicken (or vegetable) stock into the skillet with the potato rounds and transfer skillet to your preheated oven.
Cook the fondant potatoes for about 30 minutes, or until the 'white' portion of the middle has become more white and the potatoes are tender inside. *If too much stock has evaporated during cooking, add more as needed. You will want only a couple of tablespoons of the stock left over to serve with the fondant potatoes. **If there is too much stock left over when the potatoes are done cooking, remove the fondant potatoes to a plate and return the pan with stock to the oven to allow more stock to evaporate off.
Garnish with chopped parsley (or fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme) and serve with 2-3 tablespoons of the remaining chicken stock.
I'm going to preface my preparation of your russet potatoes with this note: You don't have to cut your potatoes as shown here. My method was done to have a lot of height on my fondant potatoes and resulted in a lot of cut-away potato that went unused. Instead of using a half of each potato for each round, a large potato could be cut into thirds and yield 3 slightly shorter but wider rounds. However, the height of the rounds as shown here adds amazing texture with the crispy top and bottom and the super creamy inside portion of the potato.*If too much stock has evaporated during cooking, add more as needed. You will want only a couple of tablespoons of the stock left over to serve with the fondant potatoes. **If there is too much stock left over when the potatoes are done cooking, remove the fondant potatoes to a plate and return the pan with stock to the oven to allow more stock to evaporate off.