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Real home-made chips*

Real home-made chips*

It's not easy to make these - the original "French fries" - well at home, that is, to produce golden and crunchy chips from fresh potatoes. Here is a way of doing it in three cooking stages, which gives very good results: melting in the middle, crunchy on the outside, and a nice golden colour. What's more, everything can be prepared in advance.

[Translator's note: I have called these "chips" (the British English term, not to be confused with flat round "crisps", being what Americans understand by the term) rather than "French fries", to distinguish them from the very fine-cut variety often served under that name, and hope that American visitors will understand and forgive me].

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Last modified on: October 10th 2010

For 6 people, you will need:

How long does it take?

PreparationRestingCookingStart to finish
27 min.1 hour20 min.1 hour 47 min.
At what time?When will I finish if I start the recipe at a certain time?
When should I start for the recipe to be ready at a certain time?
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Step by step recipe

1 Real home-made chips*  : Photo of step #1Stage 1: boiling.

Peel and rinse 1 kg potatoes. It's a good idea to use large potatoes. I have a preference for samba but bintje, and no doubt other varieties, are also quite suitable.
10 min.
2 Real home-made chips*  : Photo of step #2Cut the potoatoes into fairly thick slices (about 1 cm or 0.4 inches). 5 min.
3 Real home-made chips*  : Photo of step #3Cut the slices into sticks of the same thickness. It's important not to make the chips too thin, otherwise they'll not be soft in the middle. 5 min.
4 Real home-made chips*  : Photo of step #4Put the cut chips in a large bowl under running water for 2 to 3 minutes, swishing them round from time to time until the water runs clear. 5 min.
5 Real home-made chips*  : Photo of step #5Prepare a large pan of lightly salted water and put the chips on to boil.

It's important that the chips are thoroughly cooked, to the point where the corners or edges begin to crumble, as you can see in the photo lower down, and become irregular.

It's a bit tricky, as the chips become fragile once cooked, but it's worth knowing that the more cooked the chips, the better they'll be. But do take care; a few minutes too long and you'll end up with potato soup.
10 min.
6 Real home-made chips*  : Photo of step #6When they are well cooked, remove the chips gently and drain on a rack.

As soon as they are cool, put the rack in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to dry the chips.
30 min.
7 Real home-made chips*  : Photo of step #7You can see on this close-up what I mentioned earlier: the chips are well cooked and their edges (as shown by the arrows) have started to break up. This is important as these little irregularities give a noticable extra crunch to the chips when fried.
8 Real home-made chips*  : Photo of step #8Stage 2: first frying.

Fry the chips for the first time in very hot oil for 5 minutes.

Do this in batches if necessary.
5 min.
9 Real home-made chips*  : Photo of step #9The aim is not to cook the chips, just part cook them. They should be barely coloured.

Drain them thoroughly, then tip them onto the rack again, and leave to wait for at least 30 minutes.
30 min.
10 Real home-made chips*  : Photo of step #10Stage 3: second and final frying.

Put the chips back into the hot oil for about 5 minutes, removing them as soon as they have browned to your liking.
5 min.
11 Real home-made chips*  : Photo of step #11Tip into a dish lined with a layer of absorbant paper, salt lightly and serve without delay. 2 min.

Remarks

If you are used to frozen chips, you'll be amazed by the taste of these. It's a fair bit of work, but the result is worth it.

You can improve on stage 2 by putting the pre-cooked chips in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Stages 1 and 2 can be done hours beforehand, even the previous day. You can freeze the chips after stage 1, maybe even after stage 2, but I've not yet tried this.

For me, nothing goes better with these chips than béarnaise sauce. In a good restaurant they are already great, but home made: a pure delight.

Nutritional information

Whole recipe
CaloriesProteins CarbohydratesFats
85020 gr190 gr1 gr
43 %8 %18 %<1 %
Per 100 g
CaloriesProteins CarbohydratesFats
852 gr19 gr0 gr
4 %1 %2 %<1 %
Per person
CaloriesProteins CarbohydratesFats
1413 gr31 gr0 gr
7 %1 %3 %<1 %
% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories by day for a woman (change to a man).

How much will it cost?

For 6 people : 1.00 €
Per person : 0.17 €

Note : These prices are only approximate.

Change currency:

Source: Inspired by the brilliant Heston Blumenthal.
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