Mamta's Kitchen

Potato Chips-French Fries (Fingers)

Potato Chips-French Fries (Fingers)

Steve Lister

Potato chips, called French fries or potato fingers in many countries, are essentially potato strips of various thicknesses, deep fried (they can be made in an oven too) and seasoned with salt and pepper. Chips are served as part of a main meal all over the Western world. In UK, they are often sold on their own, as a popular, quick finger food. They are usually eaten straight from the paper bags they are sold in, sprinkled with salt and vinegar. Please note that in USA, India and some other countries, the word ‘chips’ describes what we in UK call ‘crisps’.

Ingredients

  • Potatoes – use waxy potatoes; Maris Piper/King Edwards/Charlottes. You need about 1 cup of cut chips per person.

  • Water to parboil chips

  • Oil for deep frying - Flora sunflower oil (or for spraying if using an oven)

  • Salt

  • Malt vinegar

Instructions

  1. Basic Method

  2. Peel the potatoes, slice into chips (fingers) of about 1-1.5 cm/ 1/4 inch cross section. Immerse in cold water for a couple of hours, changing water a couple of times, if possible. This will wash off the outside starch.

  3. Boil a large pan of salted water. Add chips, boil for a minute or two only, just to blanch them. If left for too long, they will fall to bits.

  4. Take out and immediately spread on a clean tea towel. They will cool them quickly, so they stop cooking further. They will dry too, as the steam evaporates.

  5. In a deep/high sided pan, heat the oil to a high temperature, but not quite smoking, temperature: 160°C/300°F. Check if you have a thermometer. If not, you can test fry one chip, it should sizzle and rise to the top when dropped in hot oil.

  6. Deep fry in batches (don't overcrowd the pan too much), until they are golden coloured or to your liking.

  7. Remove from oil and put on an absorbent paper.

  8. Add salt and sprinkle with vinegar, serve immediately.

  9. Double Fry Method. Some purists recommend that instead of blanching in water, you should double fry chips.

  10. Peel the potatoes, slice into chips (fingers) of about 1-1.5 cm/ 1/4 inch cross section. Immerse in cold water for a couple of hours, if possible.

  11. Drain and towel dry to remove all water.

  12. Heat oil to around135°C/275°F and fry chips, until soft but not brown, 3-4 minutes.This is sometimes called oil blanching.

  13. Remove from oil and leave on absorbent paper, even chill them in a fridge.

  14. Just before serving, deep fry them again, at 180°C/350°F, until desired brown colour and crispness is reached. This makes them crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, perfect!

  15. Cooking for large number of people and limited fryer space:

  16. Turn oven to 250°C (fan 230°C) /475°F or gas mark 8-9.

  17. Deep fry chips in batches until just colouring. Keep aside to cool.

  18. Drain and spread out in a large oven tray in a single layer.

  19. Cook in the oven until all chips are done to your liking and finish browning. Serve immediately.

  20. Oven Baked Chips, without frying;

  21. Heat oven to (fan 230°C) /450°F or gas mark 8.

  22. Cut each potato into chips, as in step 1.

  23. Wash in cold water and leave for an hour or too, changing water a couple of times.

  24. Blanch in a large pan of salted, boiling water for a couple of minutes, drain.

  25. Spread the chips out on a roasting pan.

  26. Spray with oil, ensuring each chip is evenly coated. Toss them gently to ensure coverage on all sides.

  27. Season and mix gently.

  28. Spread out in a single layer

  29. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, turning a couple of times, until golden brown or to your liking.

  30. Serve immediately.

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