‘The best recipe for chips from one of the best chefs in the world, and an incredibly fine man, too’ Tom Parker Bowles
Extract from Heston Blumenthal’s Family Food: A New Approach to Cooking Published by Penguin
As with many potato dishes, the variety of potato itself is very important. At the Fat Duck, Golden Wonder potatoes, grown for us by an excellent farmer not far from Newbury, are used. For home use, try Charlotte or Belle de Fontenay. Many hours spent experimenting with various methods of chip-making have come up with the following recipe. It may seem rather lengthy, but it does produce the best chips that I have ever tasted. With the right variety of potato, these chips are crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside, retaining their crunch for almost 10 minutes after they have been cooked.
1 litre groundnut oil
1 litre rendered fat (optional- if you do not wish to use this, 1 litre of groundnut oil will be sufficient for both the first and second frying processes)
Wash the potatoes. With a sharp kitchen knife, square them into rectangles and then cut them into chips about 1cm thick. The length of the chip is not so important, but try to keep them the same thickness so that they will cook at the same rate.
As soon as the chips are cut, put them in a bowl under cold running water for 10 minutes or so to rinse off some of the starch, then drain them.
Next, bring a casserole of unsalted water to the boil and plunge in the drained potatoes. Bring back to the boil and simmer gently until the point of a knife will penetrate the chips easily. It is important to make sure the water is only just simmering. If it boils too aggressively, the potatoes will begin to break up before they are cooked sufficiently.
Very carefully lift the potatoes out of the water, using a slotted spoon, and place them on a tray. Allow them to steam cool, then place them in the fridge. The chips will harden when cold. For the next stage, heat the groundnut oil to a temperature of 130°C and plunge in the chips. After a while, they will take on a drier appearance (do not let them brown at all).
When this happens, they have finished their second cooking process; drain them, let them cool to room temperature, and put them into the fridge. When cold, they are ready for their final cooking.
If using rendered fat for this, heat it to 180°C. Alternatively, use groundnut oil. Plunge in the chips, and cook until golden brown. This may take 8-10 minutes; be patient in order to obtain a really crispy chip. Drain and season with salt; they will take quite a lot.