A classic technique for homemade chips from chef Neven Maguire from his new cookbook ‘Neven Maguire’s Home Economics for Life’, a primer containing recipes and instructions that will stand you in good stead for life. It’s published by Gill Books, priced at €22.99 and available in all bookshops and online now.
‘Homemade chips should be perfectly crispy on the outside and super fluffy on the inside’, Neven explains. ‘At home we don’t cook chips very often, so when we do make them, we definitely want the real deal. The secret is to cook them twice at two different temperatures, so you will need a deep-fat fryer or deep pan and a thermometer for this recipe.’
4 large Rooster potatoes (about 1.5kg), peeled
1.2 litres vegetable oil, for deep-frying
A good pinch of fine sea salt
1. Trim the potatoes into rectangles, then cut into 1cm (½ inch) slices, then cut again to make chips that are 1cm (½ inch) wide. Rinse the chips in plenty of cold water to remove the excess starch. If time allows, leave them to sit in a bowl of cold water for a couple of hours or even overnight.
2. If you’re using a deep-fat fryer, heat the vegetable oil to 95C (200F). Alternatively, fill a deep, heavy-based pan one-third full with oil and use a sugar thermometer to check that it has reached the correct temperature. Take great care if using a pan: always watch over it and never fill it more than a third, as hot fat may bubble up when the potatoes are added.
3. Drain the chips and dry them really well on kitchen paper, then carefully lower them into the heated oil and cook for 10 minutes. This blanches them and ensures that they are completely cooked through without colouring them. Check that the chips are tender using the point of a knife, then remove from the oil using a slotted spoon if using a pan and drain on kitchen paper.
4. Increase the heat of the oil in the fryer or pan to 190C (375F). Lower in the blanched chips and cook for another 2–3 minutes, until crisp and golden brown. Shake off any excess fat, then quickly drain on kitchen paper and sprinkle with a little salt to serve.
NEVEN’S TOP TIP
Once the chips have been blanched so that they are cooked through and tender without any colour, they can be left to cool on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper. If you want to keep them for longer than an hour, cover them with cling film and chill in the fridge for up to 6 hours before cooking them – any longer and the potatoes are in danger of discolouring slightly.
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