Why don't you forget those preparations for a minute and take a gander at Fergus Henderson and Justin Piers Gellatly's baked potato. With some duck fat and roasted garlic, they transform this humble side into a star in and of itself.
If you're in need of duck fat, ask your local butcher for it, or look for packaged duck fat (a bit pricey, but you shouldn't need that much for this dish). Or you could always render the fat yourself from a duck or two.
The following recipe is adapted from Henderson and Gellatly's Beyond Nose to Tail.
- 4 large jacket potatoes
- 20 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
- Duck fat, enough to cover garlic
- Salt and black pepper
Bake the potatoes in a medium oven until soft to the squeeze. Meanwhile, put the garlic cloves into an ovenproof dish and cover with the duck fat. Cover the dish and put into a gentle to medium oven. Cook until the garlic is totally squishy, then remove from the oven and whizz the garlic and enough of the duck fat in a food processor to give a very loose paste.
Let the potatoes cool enough to handle, then cut them in half lengthways. Scoop out the flesh into a bowl and add the garlic and duck fat paste. Stir thoroughly. When they have combined forces, season and return to the hollow potato skins. Pop into a hot oven until golden brown.