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triple cooked chips

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Triple cooked chips

I must admit I’m not a huge fan of chips. Not many foods I leave on my plate but chips don’t quite do it for me. Love potatoes, don’t get me wrong: can sell my soul for a good mash, Jersey Royals make me sigh in bliss, all things dauphinoise or gratined yes please and I enjoy a good jacket spud. But chips – meh.

These are no ordinary chips though.

These are the famous, Heston Blumenthal’s triple cooked, fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside (a bit like Tardis, or did I get it wrong?) chunky English-style wonders.

Cooked religiously by the book, ‘In Search of Perfection’ part one. Temperature of the oil measured by digital thermometer. Paying a fortune for copious quantities of groundnut oil. Risking ruin of the fridge by putting steaming chips into it. Soaking, de-starching, boiling, timing – all as if per eleventh commandment ‘thou shalt cook perfect chips’. Everything bar the vinegar aerosol in the air.

The only thing not quite right here is the type of spuds, I had my home-grown potatoes to use and they weren’t that floury – if you go and buy some regular Maris Pipers you’ll be laughing (with relief, after hours of slogging with boiling water and oil…).

triple cooked chips


INGREDIENTS

  • 1kg floury potatoes, Maris Piper, King Edward or similar
  • groundnut or sunflower oil for deep frying – at least 1 litre
Potatoes cut into chips


METHOD

Peel the potatoes and cut them into chunky, old-fashioned chips, about 1.5cm thick. Soak or rinse them in cold water while you prepare the first cooking.

Put a large pan of salty water (at least 1 tbsp per litre) on to boil. Plunge the potatoes in, bring back to the boil and cook gently until soft and a little crumbled around the edges. You need to watch them carefully because if really floury, you blink and have potato soup. Mine took about 10 minutes but they were home grown, name forgotten variety and not too floury.

Drain the chips out gently, with a slotted spoon if really frazzled, and place on a cake rack – best to put one on a tray on paper towels to avoid mess. Let the chips cool down completely – at least half an hour in the fridge.

Chips after first and second cooking

Heat the oil in a large pan or a wok to 150C/300F. Slide the chips in and cook in as constant temperature as possible until they colour ever so slightly – it will only take 3 - 5 minutes. Drain, place on the rack and cool down in the fridge again.

When you’re ready to dish them out, re-heat the oil to 190C/375F. Cook the chips until golden – this will not take much time at all. Lift onto a bowl lined with paper towels, salt and serve. You can skip the vinegary spray…

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