Fried Potatoes, like so many foods we call 'fried' in the South, are really not deep fried per se. They are skillet fried and they are so good! These potatoes can be served at any meal. They are great for breakfast with eggs and biscuits and gravy, some country ham or bacon and they are equally good for supper with pinto beans, collard or turnip greens and cornbread!
Fried Potatoes have a different texture than say, French fries or typical hash browns. They are soft and yummy on the inside, because you sort of steam them first, but they are crispy and browned on the outside from frying them uncovered at the end. Not all sides will brown or crisp as you can see. One key to good fried potatoes is to use the right potato and to not move them around too much in the pan.
Here is what you will need:
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 Tbs. bacon drippings
5-6 large Russet potatoes (baking potatoes work best)
1 medium sweet onion, diced (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
You will need a large skillet with a top. If you use nonstick, you can use a bit less oil. If you use cast iron, you will a bit more oil. Either works fine. Heat the oil and bacon drippings on medium high heat. It needs to be hot enough to sizzle.
Peel, wash and diced the potatoes. The number of potatoes you use really depends on how many you are cooking for and how much they eat. A good rule of thumb is one potato per person, if they are large potatoes, and in my family throw in an extra one or two, because they love some fried potatoes.
Carefully slide the potatoes into the skillet. That oil will pop so be careful. If you are adding onion, add it now also. I don't use the onion in my fried potatoes, mainly because my mother never did and my family doesn't like it. I, personally, think it's a nice addition. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. I like a lot of black pepper on these. With a spatula, lightly toss the potatoes to coat them all with oil. Cover with the skillet lid and reduce the heat just slightly. Cook covered for about 12-15 minutes. Check them about halfway to be sure the bottom isn't getting too brown. This steams the potatoes and softens them.
Uncover them and with a spatula, start to turn them in sections so the underside is more on top. Sprinkle again with little salt and black pepper to taste. Turn the heat up a bit and let them fry uncovered for about 10 more minutes. Turn them one more time and let them go about 5 minutes or until they are all tender and browned enough. There is no real rule of when this is. It's up to what you think and how brown you like them. You don't want to cook them so long they get hard or steam them covered so long they fall apart. Also, do not turn them too much. We turned these three times basically.
When they are done, I turn them out on a paper towel lined dish. Serve immediately!