Preparation 10 minutes
Cooking time 45 minutes…ish
Coarse Sea Salt
Herbs, spices and flavourings to taste
The humble spud can be a starchy mouthful or a glorious meal by itself. This is a simple recipe for my chips, which according to my kids and some of their friends, are the best chips in the world… like evah.
If you’ve ever made roast spuds then you’ll be familiar with the process but what makes these so damn tasty is the flavours you can add. I’ll start with the basic recipe and then give a few variations for different occasions. The chips will take around an hour of prep and cooking in total but if you’re only making a few they’ll cook quicker.
You will need…
Local Spuds… preferably Roosters, but any decent floury spud will do as long, as they don’t completely fall apart when you boil them.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil… the stuff from the discount supermarkets is grand.
A knob of butter
Coarse Sea Salt, it gives a lovely crunch but the ordinary stuff is fine.
Pepper if you want, but I don’t usually.
A big saucepan full of water for boiling and a colander to drain.
A big flat Pyrex oven dish… it’s preferable to metal as the spuds don’t scorch. If you haven’t one of these, get one because you’ll want to do these again. You could use a flat ceramic dish too. The bigger the better as you don’t want to crowd the cooking chips.
Cover the bottom of the oven dish with a generous glug of Olive Oil and put it into a very hot oven. I usually just turn mine up to full for this bit.
Put a big pan of water on to boil.
While the oil and water is heating up, peel and dice the spuds into chip sized lumps. If you want to get accurate, cut a small spud into eight pieces a bit like this…
If you want bigger chips, fine, but make sure all the chips are similar in thickness.
You should do enough chips to fill the oven dish but not overload it. If there are three layers of spuds they won’t cook evenly.
Wash the spuds in the colander under the tap for a few seconds to get rid of excess starch.
Chuck the spuds in the water and bring to the boil. The minute they are boiling, stick your kitchen timer on for four minutes… no more than that otherwise you may as well make mash.
When the beeper goes drain the spuds and leave them to dry for a minute or so in the colander.
Now this is the bit you need protective goggles, good health insurance, a little common sense and some decent oven gloves. Do not do this with a tea-towel.
Take the oven dish out and put it down somewhere flat. Empty the colander of spuds into the hot oil and do it so the splashes and oil are away from you as it will sizzle and spit.
I usually add a knob of butter now, just for the hell of it… the real stuff not something that believes it may have come from a cow.
When the sizzling stops you need to grab the dish with both hands and give the spuds a shake or if you’re a wee bit scared use a spatula/fish-slice to make sure every spud is covered in the oil and butter.
A good sprinkle of the sea salt and back in the oven. You can turn it down now to 200 degrees.
Set the timer for twenty minutes and have some wine.
When the beeper goes, remove the oven dish and give the chips a shake and toss and of there are a few stickers, use a spatula to loosen them up. The idea here is turn the chips over so that every side gets cooked.
Back into the oven and at this point it’s down to you to keep an eye on them. Another twenty minutes should have them close to cooked but if your oven is hot, it may only be fifteen or it could be thirty. What you are looking for is a lovely golden brown. You might take them out and give them one more shake before you serve.
So there you are, simple and delicious… right now the good stuff.
Garlicky… Add half a dozen unpeeled cloves of garlic when you first put the spuds in the oil. The garlic will roast down and turn into garlic toffee. When you turn the spuds after twenty minutes, throw in a couple of stalks of thyme or rosemary.
Aromatic Spice… sprinkle the spuds in a teaspoon or so of ground cumin and add a little chopped, fresh Coriander when you remove them from the oven.
Spicy… some sweet paprika and a little chilli powder, or for a Spanish touch, some smoked paprika and dried oregano. If you don’t peel the spuds and cut them into wedges, these are great party nibbles, straight from the oven.
There’s no need to drain the chips when you serve them, they should be crispy but with a bit of texture to them and the cooking oils are usually hoovered up with a few broken chips.
I hope you enjoy the chips and I hope you’ll never buy a soggy oven chip again.