I mourn the decline of British Chips because I am convinced they were so much better back in my childhood. Memories of walking on a windswept sea front snacking on a bag of hot and crunchy chips come flooding back.
Yet the modern variety seem a pale imitation. Frequently thin and greasy from being cooked at a temperature that is too low to develop the full taste and crispness that is needed.
The use of sunflower oil means this is not exactly a traditional British Chip. As a child, I was brought up with ny chips being fried in lard. Times change so we need to adapt and this is one way that we can.
- 900g/2lb potatoes, peeled
- Sunflower Oil to fill a fryer
- (Optional) Malt Vinegar
- Salt to taste
- The ideal potatoes for chips are around 10cm/4inches long and evenly shaped. Cut them legthwise into ½cm/¼inch strips.
- Heat the oil in a deep fat fryer or chip pan until it is showing signs of smoking. Take care not to overheat otherwise a fire may be the result.
- Put the potato chips into the fryer basket then carefully lower into the hot oil. Arms length is advisable because the oil may spit out as the potatoes go in.
- Under no circumstances should the frying chips be left unattended. The basket needs shaking regularly to ensure that the chips do not stick together. Leaving hot oil unattended is a safety risk too because it could overheat and burst into flames.
- The exact cooking time will vary according to the potatoes and the size they were cut to. Allow around 10-15 minutes to get a golden and crunchy basket of chips.
- Lift the basket from the fryer or pan and carefully shake off excess oil. Take care to remove the heat from the oil at this point.
- For best results, serve immediately as chips go soggy when left for too long. Serve with salt and malt vinegar for really authentic British Chips. For the real deal then serve wrapped in newspaper along with a piece of battered fish.