There is nothing better than a crispy and well salted chip. Well that is what I thought until I was playing around with potatoes trying to produce my ultimate chips, and I discovered duck fat chips. The secret behind this great chip is the crispiness and the flavour which the duck fat imparts. I tested a variety of potatoes, and in the end settled with King Edward. These tended to give the outer crispiness and inner fluffiness that for me was just perfect. I believe Maris Pipers are also great, but as these are not readily available in Australia I have not been able to test them out.
I had this funky idea to create a ‘Jenga’ stack; that is cutting the potatoes into Jenga shaped pieces (or cuboids) and stacking them. I thought it would be even funkier to add Sweet potato versions in to the stack – which from a visual point of view I think really worked, but they are immensely difficult to get the right consistency, so for this recipe I have concentrated on the potato.
It is necessary to have medium to large potatoes to get the right shapes, and preparing the chips in this manner does leave quite a bit of left over potato – great for mashing.
Duck Fat ChipsPrint
- ■ 3 medium to large King Edward potatoes | Cut into cuboids (or close enough - for 3 star then be very very precise). Other potatoes can be used of course, such as Maris Piper, Sebago, or Desiree.
- ■ 750g duck fat | The quantity depends on the size of your pan and how many chips you are making. Use this measure as a guide.
- ■ 4 cloves garlic | Used for flavour.
- ■ 2 sprigs rosemary | Used for flavour.
- ■ 750g peanut oil | Peanut oil imparts a nice subtle nutty flavour, as well as being perfect for high temperature. frying. You can use Canola oil also. Olive oil tends to overpower in terms of flavour.
- ■ a good pinch sea salt | Sea salt, for me, has wonderful flavour and crunchy texture.
Soak the potatoes in water for about 30 minutes. I find that this removes some of the starchiness and thus provides the final chip with a crispier and fluffier texture.The next part of the process is to boil the cut potatoes in the duck fat, as you would in water. Melt the duck fat in a deep pan until it reaches 100 deg C – it is important to maintain the duck fat at about this temperature, which I monitor with a digital probe thermometer. Boil the potatoes until they become soft – should take about 15 minutes. During boiling carefully and occasionally agitate the potatoes so they do not stick to the pan. Once ready very carefully life them out and lay them out, on a baking sheet for example, and let them cool.Next I add the peanut oil to a large frying pan, along with the garlic cloves and rosemary sprigs and heat it to 180 deg C. This is the optimal temperature for getting that wonderfully brown and crispy surface. Carefully add the potatoes to the hot oil – depending on the size of your frying pan you may have to do these in batches. I have a very large Scanpan and can do these in one hit. When the chips are a deep golden brown colour – you will be able to feel the resistance when tapped, indicating the that outside has crisped then remove the chips from the pan, drain on absorbent paper and then salt with the finest sea salt – I use Maldon Sea Salt (from England). Stack them in a column as per Jenga, and enjoy.
Just to clarify one thing; although I live in Australia I refer to the chip as the hot thick version and not the thin packeted version we English call crisps.