Place the potatoes in a large pot with enough water cover and 2 tablespoons of the salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain them and set aside.
In a small saucepan, gently heat the half and half and butter until the butter is just melted.
Place the potatoes in a large bowl, add the half and half and butter, 1/2 tablespoon salt and pepper. Mix together with a spoon and add in the chives, once the ingredients are incorporated. Do not overmix or over-handle the potatoes. Serve immediately.
Enjoy these classic mashed potatoes alongside roasted turkey or other meats or a vegetarian entree. For richer, creamer potatoes, add more half and half and/or butter. For a smashed potatoes version, don't peel the potatoes and mix cooked potatoes just until small lumps remain.