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Potatoes Boulangère

Scott Phillips

Servings: six as a side dish.

This dish is like a potato gratin but without the cheese and cream; the pancetta (Italian cured bacon) adds rich flavor. It would make a great side dish for roast chicken or beef.


  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3-1/2 oz. (1/2 cup) diced pancetta
  • 3 small onions, thinly sliced (2 cups)
  • 3 medium sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Scant 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lb. Yukon Gold or Yellow Finn potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick half moons
  • 1 cup homemade or low-salt canned chicken broth

Nutritional Information

      Calories (kcal) : 260
      Fat Calories (kcal): 110
      Fat (g): 12
      Saturated Fat (g): 4
      Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
      Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6
      Cholesterol (mg): 10
      Sodium (mg): 540
      Carbohydrates (g): 30
      Fiber (g): 3
      Protein (g): 6


  • Heat the oven to 375°F. Heat the olive oil in a medium (9-inch) Dutch oven over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the pancetta. Sauté until it just begins to crisp and turn brown, about 4 min. Add the onions, thyme, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and more frequently toward the end, until the onions are deep golden, about 14 min. Meanwhile in a small saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil and then remove from the heat. Add the potatoes to the onions and cook, stirring for a minute or two. Pour the hot broth over the potatoes and onions and bring the pot to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cover the pot, put it in the oven, and bake for about 15 min. Uncover the pot, gently and evenly push the potatoes down with a spatula, and continue to bake uncovered until the potatoes are completely tender and have started to brown, about another 25 min. Discard the bay leaf and thyme before serving.


Although a Dutch oven (a deep, straight-sided flameproof casserole with a tight-fitting lid) is traditional for this recipe, a straight-sided sauté pan works, too. If you use a sauté pan, it should be about 3 inches deep and no more than 9 inches in diameter. That way, the vegetables will be snugly packed. Be sure it has a lid. Be extra careful when you take a sauté pan out of the oven: The handle will be extremely hot, so tie a kitchen towel around it to prevent burning yourself or others who might try to touch the pan, not realizing that it’s been in the oven.


Rate or Review


  • Danyle | 08/26/2011

    My family really enjoyed this potato dish. I make my own chicken broth but in a pinch I would use the low salt canned chicken broth.I am often picking up kids for different school sports in the late afternoon so I need a dish that can be in the oven for a few extra minutes without destroying the dish. Because of this need, I lowered the oven temperature and kept it covered for thirty minutes, allowing me time to pick up my kids and come home and then uncovered it for twenty five minutes. It looked beautiful and tasted terrific. Another for my favorites.

  • User avater
    SweetJLee | 12/25/2010

    Absolutely delicious. I love that these potatoes have a gratin-type quality without the heavy cream and cheese. Actually, the flavor is better, I think, than au gratin potatoes! My potato-snob husband declared this one of the best potato recipes I've ever made.

  • sewapel | 01/18/2009

    I used red onions instead of shallots, bacon instead of the pancetta, and followed everything else. It turned out really good! Definitely a keeper!

  • User avater
    DKB | 01/22/2008

    I came looking for a gratin type recipe to make for guests but not something high fat with cheese and heavy cream. The flavors in this recipe are fabulous! The browned pancetta and caramelized onion with the chicken broth create a incredibly rich flavored broth that the potatoes soak up. They become moist and tender with crispy bits on the top and edges. The thinly sliced onions melt away during baking.The recipe served 4 potato lovers with wistful looks at the empty pot wishing there was just another bite. This will definitely become a regular on my table.

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