Braised Potatoes with Bay Leaves and Garlic
1½ pounds small red or white potatoes, scrubbed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup no-salt-added chicken broth, or as needed (may substitute water)
2 bay leaves, preferably fresh
2-3 cloves garlic, smashed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
If the potatoes are larger than golfball size, cut them in half. If you are leaving them whole, use a vegetable peeler to remove a band of skin around the circumference of each potato; that will allow the flavors of the braising liquid to penetrate.
Place the potatoes in a saucepan large enough to hold them in a snug single layer without crowding. Add the oil, then enough broth to come halfway up the sides of the potatoes. Tear the bay leaves in half and add them to the saucepan, along with the garlic (to taste). Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Cover and cook over medium heat; once the broth is bubbling at the edges, reduce the heat to medium-low. Braise, lifting the lid and turning the potatoes with a spoon after about 10 minutes; cover and cook until the potatoes are just tender when pierced with a thin skewer, for a total of about 20 minutes.
Uncover and increase the heat to high; boil, gently shaking the pan back and forth, until the water evaporates and you can hear the oil sizzle, about 5 minutes. The braised garlic cloves will break down and coat the potatoes as you shake the pan. Discard the bay leaves; serve hot.
Serves four to six.
Cook's note: The potatoes taste even better after a day's refrigeration.
Nutrition values per serving (based on six): 140 calories, 2 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat (1 g saturated), 0 cholesterol, 70 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugar.
Adapted from "All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking" by Molly Stevens (W.W. Norton, 2004)