Fried Chilean Potato Puffs (Papas duquesas)

fried chilean potato puffs (papas duquesas)

Have you ever met a fried potato you didn’t like? I sure haven’t! I was intrigued by these creamy, Chilean potato puffs that Food & Wine described as “a cross between mashed potatoes and french fries.” While not usually a fan of mashed potatoes, the ingredient list reminded me quite a lot of gnocchi, which I love, so they were quickly added to my “recipes to try” board.

Turns out, they make for a unique snack that were quickly devoured. I really wanted some sort of savory dipping sauce to accompany, but didn’t know whether that was traditional or not (and what that would entail) — plus nutmeg is a tricky flavor to pair, particularly with the minimal supplies I had on hand. Regardless, they were perfectly delicious after a generous sprinkling of flaky sea salt was applied — I’ll surely make these again whenever I have extra baked potatoes to use up!

fried chilean potato puffs (papas duquesas), draining

Fried Chilean Potato Puffs (Papas duquesas)

(adapted from Food and Wine)

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 1/2 – 2 minutes per batch

Baking Time: 5 minutes, optional

Makes: 2 1/2 dozen


  • 340 grams (12 ounces or about 3 cups, from about 2 potatoes) coarsely grated, skinned baked potatoes, chilled (see recipe below)
  • 28 grams (2 tablespoons) finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 23 grams (2 tablespoons) potato flour (not starch)
  • 15 grams (2 tablespoons) millet flour
  • 1 tablespoon non-fat dry milk (preferably non-instant¹)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted (and browned, if desired)
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • Oil for frying (about 2 cups for 4-quart pot), I like grapeseed, safflower or peanut (all refined varieties)
  • Maldon sea salt for serving


Make dough and shape balls:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine grated baked potatoes through nutmeg. Stir on low until flour and cheese are evenly distributed, and potatoes are broken up into smaller pieces — the mixture will be very crumbly, resembling curds. Turn mixer off, drizzle in butter and add egg yolk. Stir just until moistened, dough should easily form a ball when squeezed — if not, continue to mix until it does.

Line a small, rimmed sheet pan or plate with plastic wrap. Scoop 14 grams (about 1 tablespoon) of dough, squeeze several times to warm slightly and roll into a ball; set formed ball on prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.

Fry balls and serve:

Line a large, rimmed sheet pan with several layers of paper towel, set a cooling rack on top (optional). Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium saucepan (4-quart) heat about 3/4″ – 1″ of oil until it reaches 375°F. Add about 1/4 of the balls to the hot oil; fry, turing about half way through, for about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to prepared cooling rack/paper towel-lined sheet pan with a mesh skimmer or slotted spoon. Allow oil to recover then repeat with remaining balls.

Serve each batch immediately — finish with a nice sprinkle of salt — or reheat all together in the preheated oven for about 5 minutes on a clean, unlined sheet pan (please note that the longer they’re in the oven the less crisp the exteriors become, so keep a close watch!).

Baked Potatoes

Preparation Time: 2 minutes

Baking Time: 1 hour

Makes: 1 potato

This recipe is easily multiplied!


  • 1 Russet potato, scrubbed and dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt


Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut two sheets of aluminum foil (long enough to cover potato completely). Place potato on one sheet of foil, drizzle with olive oil and rub it about to coat skin evenly. Sprinkle salt over all sides. Wrap up with one sheet of foil, pressing it tightly against the potato. Wrap with the second sheet. Place directly on the center rack of the preheated oven; if desired, place a sheet pan underneath to catch any starchy spills. Bake for about 1 hour or until potato is easily pierced with a knife.

Carefully unwrap potato from foil; serve immediately or set on a heatproof plate to cool for about 1 hour before transferring to the fridge to cool completely.


¹ I prefer the flavor of non-instant dry milk. It can be more difficult to find, but Bob’s Red Mill and Organic Valley are two of the more common brands; I purchased a bag of the latter at my local Whole Foods.

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  • Reply
    February 21, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Your puffs look fantastic. What a creative idea.

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