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Weekend Recipe: Delmonico Potatoes

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Photo courtesy of Cook's Country
Photo courtesy of America's Test Kitchen

People often come across the recipe of this famous potato dish -- served at Delmonico's Restaurant in New York City since the early 19th cenutry -- via a forwarded email or old newspaper clipping with an origin story about the first chef passing on the recipe to someone's great-great grandfather. The truth is, there is no record of the original Demonico potatoes recipe, but this Cook's Country version is a worthy substitute.

Delmonico Potatoes
Serves 8 to 10

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon grated zest and 2 tsp juice from one lemon
5 ccups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed and patted dry with paper towels
3/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cups finely chopped fresh chives (optional)

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in Dutch oven over med-high heat. Cook onion until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in 2 cups cream, 1 cup broth, potatoes, nutmeg, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are translucent at edges and mixture is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in lemon zest and juice.

Transfer potato mixture to a 13-by-9-inch backing dish and bake until bubbling around edges and surface is just golden, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, melt remaining butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook shredded potatoes until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add remaining cream, remaining broth, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Off heat, stir in 1/2 cup cheese and 2 tablespoon chives.

Remove baking dish from oven and top with shredded potato mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and continue to bake until top is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cook 15 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining chives. Serve.

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