“Heston’s chips if he had a saucepan and oven…but no atomiser”
Ingredients / Equipment.
- Roasting tray.
- Slotted spoon.
- Kitchen paper.
- Make oven hot.
- Put oil in tin
- Peel potatoes.
- Cut them.
- Boil until nearly mush.
- Carefully remove.
- Steam until dry.
- Carefully put in oil.
- Turn oven down.
- Turn chips.
- Turn oven off.
- Eat chips.
First things first: grab a non-stick oven tray and pour in about a third olive-oil and the rest vegie oil until the bottom is covered with about 2-3mm of grease (these are chips… you don’t get healthy chips… lets go for it).
Whack your oven up to full blast. Put the tray in. Shut the door. Done.
Now’s a good time to pour yourself a glass of vino: we’ve got potatoes to peel.
So which potatoes? The ‘rooster’ is a great shout: it’s still a little robust and yet floury. This means you can bash it around more than some others and still end up with a crispy chip with a fluffy centre. This is what we’re after here. Basically as close to triple-cooked chips as we can get to in an oven. We’re looking Heston’s chips if he had a saucepan and oven…but no atomiser. Roosters are also a great potato to make creamy mash (We’ll leave that for another post) so a great variety to have as standard.
Roosters it is then.
Peel two or three per person. You don’t want to overcrowd the roasting tray – they all need to sit flat and have some space in between. Best go with two trays if you’re at all worried.
Cut the potatoes, length-wise, into chips about 1-1.5cm wide. Not too thin or they’ll all break up, but not to fat either. And remember: edges are good so if you end up with funny angles then happy days.
Put them in a pan of cold water as you go along (or they’ll oxidize and go grey) and once you’re done shove the pan on the burner and season the water well.
Top tip: if it’s grown under the ground then it goes in cold water and is heated to boiling from there. If it’s grown above ground it wants to be dropped straight in boling water (or, even better in many cases, steamed).
Now this is where my mum freaks out and where the risk comes into play (we all like to live on the edge when it comes to potatoes, no?!) We need to leave our spuds on boil until we dare not go any softer. They should be to the point that if we poured them straight into a colander we’d have just made mash. Lift them out carefully with a slotted spoon and leave to steam in the colander. We want the potatoes to dry out a little.
So why? The softer the potatoes are the more cracks emerge in the surface. This is where the hot oil gets in and what creates our glass-like crust. Similarly we allow the potatoes to steam off until they seem dry because we want that hot oil to work immediately into those cracks and not work against the starchy water.
Don’t forget to top up your wine.
So now grab your roasting tray. Careful when opening the oven door! And careful with the now very liquid oil (I once nearly ruined Christmas – and my arm!!). Put the oil on the heat and take the colander of chips. Empty the colander, at arms length, into the steaming oil. Make sure you are pushing them away from you. They should spit so be careful. Season. Turn the chips. Season again and stick them in the oven.
Turn the temperature down to about 180°C (360°F) and leave for a good 20-25 minutes. Open the oven and give them a toss. They should be crisping up well on the bottom. Take a sheet of kitchen paper and mop up the excess oil using the slotted spoon to push it around. Don’t use your hand you nutter!
Season again. Back in the oven and in ten minutes time you’ve got the perfect roasted chips.
Don’t forget to turn the oven off (so many recipes forget to mention this but it really is vital) and fill up your glass again!
Fantastic served alongside a spicy burger or just some homemade tomato or BBQ sauces.