Cooking perfect chips

Chips remain Britain’s favourite side dish, and many of us opt for the convenience of picking them up from the take-away. Occasionally though, you crave that fried potato hit at an awkward time and need to reach for the deep-fat frier. Follow a few chips tips to ensure those fries emerge crisp and delicious.

First pick your potatoes

OK, not literally. A bag of Maris Pipers or King Edwards from the supermarket will do just fine. These fluffy potatoes are ideal for chipping. Others will pass, but avoid new potatoes or any waxy potato. It will end in tears.

Don’t slice them too thinly. You will have your own preferences but remember that the size of the chip is the most important factor in determining cooking times. Blanch the chips in some hot water to avoid discolouring before frying. Then ensure they are perfectly dry before you put them in oil.

The frying medium

Traditional chip shops swear by beef dripping. Vegetarians and the people who have to breathe the air in your kitchen will disagree. It is perfectly possible to achieve excellent results with vegetable oil or groundnut oil, but you have to be very careful with temperatures.

Experts suggest an initial fry of about eight minutes at a temperature of 160 degrees C to cook the chip without browning it, followed by a second fry at around 180 degrees for three minutes to obtain that final crisp outer coating. The timings should be adjusted slightly according to the cut of your chips.

Serve immediately, with ketchup or brown sauce. The nation divides roughly equally between adherents of the rival colours, although a vociferous minority favours mayonnaise.

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