I rarely make mashed potatoes, and when I do make them, I don't usually do much more to make them special than add a bit of crushed garlic. But for Shawn, even that is taking them too far. He likes his mashed potatoes "normal." Russet potatoes, butter, milk, salt, and pepper. Sometimes I substitute some of the milk for heavy cream if I really want the potatoes to put us into a coma, but that's the extent to which I mess with them when making them for us now.
Well, Shawn's Mashed Potatoes happen to be the perfect mashed potatoes to compliment Martha Stewart's Chicken Fricassee. Since the chicken fricassee is served on top, with the potatoes absorbing the sauce, the potatoes are really meant to play a supporting role, neither distracting nor detracting from the main dish. Kind of like a bridesmaid: beautiful and important, standing right next to, (or under in this instance,) the bride during her special hour.
Shawn's Mashed Potatoes
5 lbs russet potatoes
2 sticks of butter
1/2 cup of heavy cream (can be substituted for milk for a healthier option)
1 1/2 cups milk
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Peel potatoes and rinse. Cut potatoes into even pieces (not too small, because the smaller the pieces, they easier it will be to overcook them.) Place in a large pot. Fill with cold water until the potatoes are barely covered. Add some salt to the water for flavor. Bring to a medium boil and continue to boil until the potatoes are soft, or just until they no longer resist a fork. Turn down the temperature to medium low-low. Turn the potatoes and water into a colander and allow to drain. In the meantime, return the pot to the warm stove top and add the remaining ingredients until the butter is melted and the mixture is warm. (Be careful not to boil.) Press the potatoes through a large potato ricer into the pot with the milk mixture. Stir, test for flavor and consistency, and adjust as desired.
................................Serve as part of the Fancy Dinner Party Menu!