Soggy? Dense? Un-crispy? We’ve all whinged when the potatoes are done wrong. Here’s my guide into the perfect chip!
Do we care? Well frankly, you should. Only two varieties stand out, both are higher in starch content (hence, the fluffy insides). Top marks go to Maris Piper or its close substitute the Russet.
In Singapore, you might be hard pressed to find them – I guess we’ll have to settle for anything that NTUC has on offer.
If you want fluffy on the inside and crunchy on the outside – you might want to consider 1.5cm by 1.5cm by the longest length of the potato. Smaller would mean more crunch and less filling and vice versa.
Try to get each chip about the same size (volume) so that they all cook evenly.
Any neutral flavoured oil that has a high smoke point will do. Canola or Grapeseed. Or if you’re a little crazy, an equivalent amount of duck fat and/or clarified roasted fat dripping will yield a superior flavour! I know its artery clogging stuff – just go easy on it okay?
Need a R2-D2?
You will require a freezer, a couple of baking sheets, wire racks, some kitchen paper, a deep fryer, a stock pot, a slotted spoon – some love and heaps of patience.
Wait, did I forget the knife and chopping block? Or some fancy chip slicer would help too.
- Prepare your potatoes by peeling them and cutting them to your desired dimensions.
- Soak them in cold water and let the water run-off for about 5 minutes to get rid of the excess starch.
- In you stock pot, fill it up with water, heaps of salt (~10grams per litre) and on a medium gentle heat – bring the spuds to a simmer and let it cook until the potatoes are just about to fall apart.
- Take them out onto wire racks and let them drain/steam off then stick them into the freezer to rest for about an hour.
- The first fry! – Bring your oil to about 130 Deg C and fry them off until they develop a dry, slight golden brown colour – this will take no more than 2-3 minutes.
- Remove them onto your wire racks and repeat the cooling process to freezing. Yes, another hour!
- The second fry! – Crank the deep fryer to about 190 Deg C and fry them off to the golden delectable brown colour that we all love. It should be almost glassy crunch ont he outside – and soft, tender and fluffy on the inside.
Silence Before the Crunch
There you have it – my perfect chip. Now onto flavours – Salt and Vinegar is classic. Perhaps: Sea Salt and Malt Vinegar. Pepper? Garlic? Mayo? Or the quintessential Singaporean favourite, chilli sauce!
It does take a lot of patience if you’re after perfection. Hope you love them as much as I do. As always – have fun in the kitchen! – Chef Gary
Credits: Hats off to Fat Duck’s Heston Blumenthal who decided to share his beautiful recipe to the world. Video here.