Here I am talking about chips, as in deep-fried potato chips aka fries outside of the UK and Ireland. I am not talking about potato crisps again outside the UK known as potato chips. Confusing I know.
Chips are the bedfellow of battered fried fish, the supporting act to a fried egg and a must have eaten outdoors on a cold day smothered in salt and vinegar, wrapped in newspaper.
Chips are a British institution with Brits working their way through half a billion meals containing homemade chips each year. Though the number of Fish and Chip shops have declined in recent years, they are still easy to find and over 255 million fish and chips meals are sold in fish and chip shops each year.
With such a love for the humble chip why then is there so much debate on what makes the perfect chip?It has to start with taste. I was brought up on chips cooked in beef fat or lard (no fainting please). These fats produce a full flavoured chip and if cooked properly the chip will be crisp and brown on the outside and soft within but I am not averse to the chips that come out a little soggy, they do taste good. Chips from the chippy cooked with vegetable oils do create a similar chip but have less flavour and less cholesterol. Interestingly ...
- Thick chips absorb less oil than thin ones making chunkier chips healthier.
- Chips are also a very good source of vitamin C.
- A portion of chip shop chips contains less fat than a prawn mayonnaise sandwich
- A portion of oven chips will provide a third of your Recommend Daily Amount of vitamin C
- A serving of oven chips with 3 fish fingers contains one third of the saturated fat found in a serving of lasagne
The Best Potato for ChipsThe choice of potato is paramount to getting a good chip. A floury potato is best. Floury potatoes have a soft, dry texture making them good for chips. Look for King Edwards, Maris Piper, Romano or Desirée potatoes. There are a few specialist potatoes such as Maris Bard, Estima or Pentland Dell but these are a little harder to find.
Chip RecipesAfter choosing the correct potato, the debate begins on the different methods of cooking chips .
I par-boil and then twice cook the chips and you can see my
Other chefs have their own ideas on the best recipes and here are a few to choose from.