These Creamy Mashed Potatoes with Crispy Topping are the perfect combo of creamy garlic infused potatoes with the best crispy crunch on top.
Adapted from Bon Appetit.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add 1 teaspoon of salt.
Slowly add the diced and peeled potatoes into the water. Cook until potatoes are soft when a fork is inserted. Strain well.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, add butter, milk, garlic cloves, thyme, and pepper (wait to add the salt for when you're mashing them so you can easily regulate the salt level).
Bring the pan to a simmer on medium-low heat, being careful to not scald the milk. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Place strained potatoes into a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (if you don't have a stand mixer, use a hand held mixer with the sturdiest beaters it has).
Strain milk/butter mixture to remove all thyme and garlic pieces.
Pour strained milk/butter mixture over potatoes and use mixer to whip until fluffy (this will take several minutes).
Add in salt, starting with 3 teaspoons and continue adding until you reach desired flavor. (For 5 lbs. of potatoes I usually use 4 teaspoons of salt).
Beat salt in until well mixed.
Scoop into serving dish once you reach desired flavor. Set aside and cover until your crispy topping is made. (You can also keep it warm in the oven, covered with tinfoil while you make the crispy topping.)
In a sauté pan, add butter and heat over medium-high heat until butter is sizzling. Once sizzling, add in panko bread crumbs and smashed potato chips.
Continue mixing until slightly browned. Then add salt, pepper, and diced thyme.
Remove from heat and sprinkle on top of mashed potatoes in serving dish.
*Keep warm by covering with tinfoil and keeping in the oven until ready to serve.
Serve warm and enjoy!