How to make tip top chips
Good chips can be really difficult to find outside the chip shop these days. At the three restaurants I run with Antony and Jay Worrall Thompson, we give the chefs intensive training on the art of the perfect chip. Many pubs and restaurants use frozen chips and very few attempt to hand cut because it’s so labour intensive. But we British have always appreciated what makes a good chip and we work hard at AWT’s restaurants to make them the best in the business.
What you'll need:
Maris Piper potatoes
Deep heavy based pan or deep fat fryer
Beef dripping, vegetable or ground nut oil
We only use ‘floury’ Maris Pipers in our restaurants because they give just the right crispy, golden exterior and fluffy interior once cooked - waxy potatoes are no good for chips. We buy them unwashed – the dirt protects them from sunlight and keeps the potatoes in tip-top condition, stopping the starches from turning to sugar. If you want really superior chips, Mayan Gold cannot be beaten. Grown in this country but originally from South America, this is an old fashioned variety that’s not widely available but has a wonderful flavour.
Peel and wash your potatoes and dab them dry with a paper towel. Cut them into 3 quarter inch by 3 quarter inch batons about 3 to 4 inches long (thicker cut chips tend to be slightly lower-fat because they absorb less oil) and make sure they are all of an even width so they cook at the same pace.
Always blanch your chips first in cool oil in a deep, heavy-based pan (or preferably in a deep-fat fryer) at around 130 degrees for around 8 minutes and then leave them to cool properly. Then, just before serving, pop them into very hot oil (around 190 degrees) for 2/3 minutes. Drain on kitchen towel and serve hot.
Always have a thermometer to hand so you don’t under heat or, more importantly, overheat your oil (many fires are caused through neglected chip pans).
Personally, I love frying chips in beef dripping as this give incredible flavour but good old vegetable or nut oils work well too (and are better for you!).