1. Arrange potatoes in single layer, cut side down, in 12-inch nonstick skillet (potatoes will fit snugly). Add water, butter, garlic, thyme, and salt and bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer until potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes.
2. Remove lid and use slotted spoon to transfer garlic to cutting board. Increase heat to medium-high and vigorously simmer, swirling pan occasionally, until water evaporates and butter starts to sizzle, 7 to 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, mince garlic to paste. Transfer paste to bowl and stir in lemon juice and pepper.
3. Continue to cook potatoes, swirling pan frequently, until butter browns and potatoes are golden, 2 to 4 minutes longer. Off heat, add garlic mixture and chives and toss to thoroughly coat. Serve immediately.
Go to full version of