In a large bowl, combine butter, chives, salt, and pepper. If desired, with a channel knife, cut 2 intersecting strips around middle of each potato.
In a large saucepan, combine potatoes with salted water to cover by 1-inch and simmer until just tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain potatoes in a colander and add to butter mixture, tossing to combine. Serve potatoes warm.