Chef John's Duchess Potatoes


Duchess potatoes are the perfect special occasion side dish. You can prepare them in advance and then bake them when you need them.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins

Duchess Potatoes – Beautiful Bagged or Forked

I probably should've used one of the hand-shaped duchess potatoes for this video's thumbnail picture, since not having a piping bag would be one of the only reasons not to make this simple side dish, but for the sake of a pretty picture, I decided to take that chance. I did mention that you don't need a pastry bag during the intro, and if someone turned the video off before then, it just wasn't meant to be. Their loss, since these are a classic for a reason, and way more than just "pretty." They also have a great personality.

In the video, I mention the trade-off regarding the richness of the potatoes, and needing to make something with the appropriate texture for piping and shaping. I love butter and cream more than someone should, but if you add too much, your duchess potatoes will collapse, and lose their shape, with some of that fat separating and leaking out anyway. So, if you're craving Joël Robuchon's pommes purée, this might method may not be for you.

Having said that, these are plenty rich enough for any special occasion, especially when you consider they're usually served next to roasted meat, along with some sort of decadent sauce or gravy. You can hedge your bets by adding grated cheese to the tops before baking, which is something to keep in mind if you don't have a piping bag, and you're a little insecure about your fork work. Either way, I really hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!


  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered

  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg

  • cup cream

  • 3 large egg yolks

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter


  1. Add potatoes to a large pot of very well salted cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are very tender but not falling apart, 30 to 45 minutes. Drain very well, and let sit in strainer for at least 5 minutes.

  2. Transfer to a bowl, and mash potatoes until smooth. Add 3 tablespoons butter, salt, cayenne, and nutmeg, and continue mashing and mixing until butter completely disappears and mixture is smooth.

  3. Add cream and egg yolks, and whisk vigorously until mixture is very smooth. Taste to check seasoning and adjust to your liking. Cover and let mashed potatoes cool to room temperature.

  4. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  5. Spoon mixture into a piping bag. Pipe 12 portions on the prepared baking sheet (alternatively you can scoop out 12 portions). Chill potatoes in the refrigerator until you're ready to bake them.

  6. Drizzle or lightly brush melted butter over each duchess potato.

  7. Bake in the preheated oven until well browned, about 20 minutes.

    Duchess Potatoes with rosemary on plate
    Chef John

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

168 Calories
9g Fat
21g Carbs
3g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 168
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 73mg 24%
Sodium 331mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Protein 3g
Potassium 484mg 10%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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