Somewhere between oven-roasted potatoes and crispy hash, these little creamer potatoes are boiled in water with baking soda before being smashed. The alkaline in the baking soda helps the skins crisp up quickly. Smashing increases their surface area and contact with the pan. The result is the crunchiest-ever crust.
Add the potatoes to a large saucepan and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Add the baking soda and 1 tablespoon salt to the water. Cover, place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Uncover and continue to boil until the potatoes give easily when pierced with the tip of a knife, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and set the strainer over the top of the pan for a few minutes so the outsides of the potatoes can dry.
Dump the potatoes onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and toss with the garlic, thyme and rosemary until the potatoes are completely coated in the oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Using a small juice glass or glass bowl, smash each potato firmly but gently. (You want to just crack the skins and flatten slightly while keeping the potatoes mostly intact.)
Roast until the bottoms of the potatoes are deep golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and flip the potatoes using a spatula. Roast until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy on both sides, an additional 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a platter with a metal spatula. Serve while hot.
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