We transformed the regular hands-on skillet method to a very hands-off oven technique.
Duchess potatoes are an elegant, French-pedigreed classic in which mashed potatoes are enriched with egg, piped into decorative rosettes, and baked until golden brown. The egg lightens the potato, creating an almost weightless, dainty fluff that contrasts with the crispy, craggy exterior. In 1867, an article in Galaxy magazine lamenting the state of American cooking noted duchess potatoes on the menu of a rare good dinner. For the next century, the dish made regular appearances on the menus of country clubs, ocean liners, and fancy-pants restaurants, but by the 1970s, it seemed stuffy and out of step with the times, and it fell into culinary disrepute. Which is a shame, because duchess potatoes really are something very special.