NOTES FROM THE SHED 151: The perfect chip

A Filofacts to file under – RECIPES – CHIPS

* The Filofacts is a Shed project in progress – a collection of survival notes designed to be printed off for our steam-powered personal organisers – and yours too if you want them.

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Food writer Tim Hayward on the ultimate chip butty:

“I have chip fat in my blood. My great-grandparents ran a chip shop and my grandmother, as a result, made the very best chips in the world. Your loaf for this should be soft, white and undistinguished. This is not the place for artisanal sourdough.”

For 2 sandwiches …

  • A few Maris Piper potatoes of similar size
  • Corn or sunflower oil, or beef dripping, for frying
  • Thickly sliced soft white bread
  • Salted butter, at room temperature
  • Crushed sea salt
  • Your favourite ketchup or sauce

Slice the sides off each potato so you’re left with rectangular or square sections all the same size, removing all skin. Cut into equal-sized chips. Rinse and gently rub the chips in cold water to remove excess starch, dry by rolling in a clean tea towel, then allow to dry for a further 30 minutes or so, spread on a tray in the fridge.

In a saucepan, heat your oil to 135C and add a small batch of chips. Hold the temperature at 130C for 3 minutes. The chips will have a visible crust but should not be much darker than a plain raw potato. The intention here is to “set” the starchy exterior of the chip. Lift them out, shake dry and arrange on kitchen paper.

Bring the oil up to 195C.

Drop in a handful of the blanched chips, let the oil seethe, bubble and recede, then keep it around 193C for about 7 minutes. When a chip looks ready, whip it out and slice through to check doneness.

The very second the chips reach the right colour for you, lift out with a slotted spoon into a sieve. Sprinkle liberally with salt and toss to distribute the salt and allow any remaining fat to drop away.

suppersdone …

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