- 3 pounds russet potatoes Yukon Gold potatoes, or white potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- ¼ cup vegetable oil or peanut oil plus additional for greasing cookie sheet
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Toss potato slices with melted butter in large bowl until potatoes are evenly coated. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees.
- Pour oil into 10-inch heavy-bottomed ovenproof nonstick skillet; swirl to coat pan bottom and set skillet over medium-low heat. Begin timing, and arrange potato slices in skillet, starting in center (see illustrations 1 and 2 below) to form first layer. Sprinkle evenly with scant 1/4 teaspoon salt and ground black pepper to taste. Arrange second layer of potatoes, working in opposite direction of first layer (see illustration 3); sprinkle evenly with scant 1/4 teaspoon salt and ground black pepper. Repeat, layering potatoes in opposite directions and sprinkling with salt and pepper, until no slices remain (broken or uneven slices can be pieced together to form a single slice; potatoes will mound in center of skillet); continue to cook over medium-low heat until 30 minutes elapse from the time you began arranging potatoes in skillet.
- Using bottom of 9-inch cake pan, press potatoes down firmly to compact. Cover skillet and place in oven. Bake until potatoes begin to soften, about 15 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake until potatoes are tender when paring knife is inserted in center and edge of potatoes near skillet is browned, about 10 minutes longer. Meanwhile, line rimless cookie sheet or back of baking sheet with foil and coat very lightly with oil. Drain off excess fat from potatoes by pressing potatoes into skillet with bottom of cake pan while tilting skillet to pour off fat (see illustration 4).
- Set foil-lined cookie sheet on top of skillet. With hands protected by oven mitts or pot-holders, hold cookie sheet in place with one hand and carefully invert skillet and cookie sheet together (see illustration 5). Remove skillet. Carefully slide potatoes onto platter (see illustration 6); cut into wedges and serve immediately.