once upon a chef
– 3½ pounds Russet potatoes – 2 cups heavy cream – 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided – 1½ teaspoons salt – Chives, for serving
Preheat the oven to 450°F and adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Place the potatoes directly on an oven rack and bake until very soft, 50 to 60 minutes. While the potatoes are still hot, cut each in potato in half lengthwise. Scoop out all of the flesh from each potato half into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or the bowl of an electric mixer). Break the cooked potato flesh down into small pieces using a fork, potato masher, or rubber spatula.
Beat on low speed until completely smooth and no lumps remain, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. It’s important to do this while the potatoes are still hot, otherwise you’ll end up with lumps.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the cream and butter to a simmer.
Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a large rubber spatula, gradually fold in the hot cream and butter mixture. Folding (rather than stirring in the stand mixer) prevents the potatoes from becoming gluey.
It will take a few minutes to mix the liquid in; keep folding until the potatoes are smooth and creamy. Mix in the salt, then taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
Transfer the mashed potatoes to a large microwave-safe bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for up to 2 days. To reheat, poke lots of holes in the plastic wrap with the tip of a knife and microwave at medium-high (75 percent) power for about 14 minutes. Stir the potatoes halfway through reheating to be sure they warm evenly. Season to taste, then transfer the potatoes to a serving bowl. Top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and the chives and serve warm.