THRICE COOKED CHIPS
When it comes to hot chips, are yours’ twice or thrice cooked? Heston Blumenthal opts for hree times. One things for certain, before you decide on how many cooking steps that you’re prepared to undertake, you must use a floury potato to ensure your chip has the best chance of being golden, crunchy crisp on the outside and hot, fluffy and potato-ey inside. If you’d like to only cook twice, skip the first step of boiling in water. However, if you’re going to the effort of setting up for deep frying, best to cook three times for the ultimate chip experience. We used large sebago potatoes.
220g of potato per person (we used sebagos, but russet burbanks are also a great option)
vegetable or sunflower oil for deep frying
an electric deep-fryer, or use a large deep, heavy based saucepan and a cooking thermometer
Peel potatoes. Cut across into 1cm wide slices, then, cut each slice lengthways into 1cm wide thick chips. Place in bowl of cold water. Drain and rinse under cold water until water runs clear. Drain again.
For the first cook, place in a large saucepan of cold salted water over a high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 8 minutes or until potato is just tender when pierced with a knife. Drain.
Spread chips over a wire rack in an even single layer. Sit rack over a tray and place in the refrigerator for an hour to chill and dry out. The potatoes can be prepared up to a day ahead at this stage.
For the second cook, half fill a deep-fryer or the saucepan with oil. Heat to 120°C. Cook the chips in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the fryer pan (the temperature will drop suddenly if too overcrowded). Fry for about 5 minutes until chip is cooked through but not coloured. This step is called blanching. Remove chips a slotted spoon or wire mesh ladle basket. Drain on paper towel and spread out chips in a single layer to dry and cool. Repeat with remaining chips. The chips can be refrigerated at this step until ready for final cook to serve.
When ready to eat, heat the oil to 170°C. Cook the chips in batches. Cook until golden and crisp, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove chips with a basket, drain and spread out on paper towel in a single layer to dry. Repeat with remaining chips. Season with salt and serve immediately.
Fiona Hammond © June 2019