It was something I just had to try, use to say I’d done it and to find out if all the hassle was truly worthwhile. As with all good things, the best results are achieved through experimentation, and can vary with many factors – variety of potato, temperature, the extent to which the chips dry out between stages etc. Try this and see how you get on!
Start with the bigger end of the range old potatoes, ideally Maris Piper or similar. Peel and slice into even chips, not too thick. Soak in several changes of cold water to remove excess starch. Put in a saucepan of boiling salted water and blanch for 3-4 minutes, til the chips are softened but not breaking up. Remove from pan and plunge into more cold water. The timing obviously depends on how thick you’ve cut your chips, though this recipe suggests blanching for 10-15 minutes – in my view way too long!
Pour off water and dry thoroughly with kitchen roll. How you dry them further depends on your preferences. Heston Blumenthal suggests putting them on trays and freezing them for 30-40 minutes, though just leaving them in a warm place might have the same effect. Either way, make sure all surface moisture is removed.
Next heat your deep fryer to 130 degrees celsius. The oil should be new for best results, and certainly discarded if you’ve cooked anything with a strong flavour previously. Always filter and dispose after 2 outings.
Cook the chips in batches – not too many at a time – until they are yellow and look dry. Then dry again thoroughly.
Finally, heat the oil to 190c (or as hot as your frier will go) and brown the chips til even and golden. They should now be soft and fluffy in the middle and crisp on the outside. Serve immediately & enjoy!