You can cook these potatoes peeled or with their skins on, and smash them in the skillet just the same way—you may need to press down a bit more firmly to smash them and cook a little longer until they become golden brown.
Place the potatoes in a medium pot, and cover with cold water by about 1 inch. Add 2 tsp. salt to the water. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander, and return them to the pan off the heat to dry out for about 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Tightly wrap a brick in 2 layers of aluminum foil, and place in the oven to heat up, about 30 minutes. Heat a large, heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat, and add the olive oil and thyme, if using. When the oil is shimmering, spread the potatoes in the pan in a single layer. Place the hot brick on top of them, and press until the potatoes are lightly smashed. Move the brick around to keep pressure on the potatoes, but don’t disturb the potatoes until they’re golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Turn to brown the other side, about 5 minutes more. (Don’t worry if the potatoes break—the pieces will be browned and delicious.)
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