Sunday, September 16, 2007

I'm feeling pretty chipper!

For some time now I have been perfecting my chip technique. My mother and husband have been very supportive in this endeavour, and if chips are even mildly hinted at they are suddenly on the menu. They are easy to cook, and can be prepared well in advance. The final cooking time is only three minutes.

Last night's effort was the best ever, so I feel I should share my secrets with you, my loyal readers.

1. Deal with the potatoes. I use three potatoes for three people, and they all get eaten! Old potatoes are required, and I don't know that it really matters what variety. Peel them, then cut them into chips. Although I have a chipping blade on the food processor (which I have used), hand cut chips are better. Cut them not too fat, and plenty of little fragments to crisp up. Soak these in cold water for as long as you like, but at least half an hour. I haven't tried iced water so don't know if it makes any difference.

2. Heat the oil to its hottest in your deep fryer. I wouldn't dream of using a wok or saucepan full of oil. I am deeply scared of deep fat and the only way I feel comfortable using it is in the deep fryer. I use that deep fryer for a lot of things these days. Note: Remove the wire basket BEFORE you heat the oil. Too often I have forgotten to...

3. Dry the chips in a tea towel. Pat them as dry as possible. Water and hot oil aren't a good combination. Put them in the wire basket you have thoughtfully removed while the oil is heating.

4. Plunge the chips into the oil, and put the lid on. Fry for 5 minutes, using a timer. Remove, and allow to sit until you are ready for the next stage. I let them sit on a baking sheet covered with baking paper.

5. Let the oil heat up again, and do whatever else you need to do around dinner. Plunge the chips back into the oil for three minutes. Use tongs to stir them up a bit, making sure they aren't stuck together. Three minutes should get them golden and crispy.

6. Turn them out of the wire basket onto the baking paper (or greaseproof paper) and sprinkle with salt.

The baking paper is MUCH better than kitchen towel. Absorbent kitchen paper seems to hold the steam and make the chips soggy. Greaseproof or baking paper is a major element in succesful, crisp chips.

So who want to come over?


  1. Oh wow. I have a deep fryer for the same reason that you do, but I almost never use it. You have inspired me. One question: Do you reuse the fat? If so, how do you store it and how many times do you reuse it?

  2. I meant the oil... sorry!

  3. JulieB1:53 AM

    What time shall we be there?

  4. For M-H and anyone else wanting to know: Oil is expensive, and I do reuse it. You can tell when it needs changing because it gets darker and there may be bits of stuff in it, depending what you have used it for. I am not worried about carcinogens at this stage! I just leave it in the deep fryer with the lid on. It might as well be there as anywhere else - it doesn't need refrigerating.

  5. heather10:47 AM

    How amazing we should both have been perfecting our chips!! I normally pretty much follow your chipping routine, but followed Mr Blumenthal's fiddly but interesting idea of parboiling then sticking in the fridge. Apparently it helps dry them out which is the key to the proper chip.. oh and he also recommends maris pipers although i am a king edward fan myself. What a shame I just joined weight watchers!!! love Heather (up top)