This is my new favourite way of making extra crispy potato fries. They are coated in a spicy flour mix before being twice-fried to give them an extra crunch on the outside, leaving the inside soft and fluffy.
Crispy potato fries
Who doesn’t enjoy a sneaky helping of potato fries every now and again. You are going to love these crispy potato fries. They are crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. And they take hardly any time at all to make.
I love the crispy coating, flavoured with garlic and paprika, with just enough salt so that you don’t have to reach for the salt cellar before you eat them.
Let me tell you my secrets for making these super crispy fries.
Firstly, you need to fry them in lard! Seriously. Lard is not as unhealthy as you might think and it gives the chips a great flavour. Also lard has a higher smoke point than regular sunflower oil, so it gets hotter, which means the chips cook faster.
And secondly, you need to fry them twice. This is what makes them super crispy. Frying twice also has the advantage of letting you make them in advance. Just fry them up once, and then leave them to drain on kitchen paper towel until you are ready to serve, then pop them back into the pan for 2 minutes to crisp them up.
These are good served either hot or cold. I find that normal chips turn hard and unappetising if you leave them overnight. These fries keep their softness. Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve been known to eat the leftovers the next day for breakfast, with a bowl of my homemade mayonnaise for dipping!
Of course, if you’ve got a lot of time on your hands, you could always try Heston Blumenthal’s thrice cooked chips, which takes around 3 hours because you have to freeze them for an hour in between each cook!
How to make crispy potato fries
You will need
- One large potato per person. A floury potato like Maris Piper is the best, as it gives a nice fluffy inner texture.
- 1 egg and about 1/2 cup of milk mixed together in a large bowl. The amount of milk you will need depends on how many fries you are making.
- 1 cup of plain white flour seasoned with 1 teaspoon each of paprika, freshly ground black pepper, salt and garlic salt or dried garlic flakes. Once again, the amount of flour will depend on how many chips you are making. I find 1 cup of flour is sufficient for 4 large potatoes. If you are making a larger batch then increase the seasoning accordingly.
- 250g block of lard – you can use sunflour oil if you prefer, but lard adds extra flavour, and the high smoking point means the chips will cook faster.
What to do
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into thickish chip shapes. Don’t cut them too thin, about 1cm thickness is a good size.
- Mix the egg and milk together in one bowl, and mix the flour and spices in another bowl.
- Place a handful of chips in the egg and milk mixture, then remove and place in the flour mixture. Mix them around to ensure they are well coated.
- Place the lard in a large frying pan and heat until it has melted. To test for the correct tempeature, drop in 1 chip. If the lard sizzles then it is hot enouth. If it doesn’t sizzle immediately, let it heat a little longer.
- Use a slotted spoon to place the coated chips into the hot melted lard. Don’t overcrowd the pan, keep the chips to 1 layer.
- Fry for about 5 minutes until they are brown and golden, then remove from the oil, using the slotted spoon, and let them drain on kitchen paper towel. If you are not going to fry the chips for a second time then leave them in the hot oil for an extra minute to ensure they are cooked through.
- Repeat until all the chips have been cooked.
- Fry the chips a second time, in the same pan, for about 2 minutes to allow them to crisp. Remove and drain on kitchen paper towel.
There is only one drawback to this method of cooking potato fries, and that is that you are left with a layer of brown, floury sludge at the bottom of the pan, from the excess flour that has fallen from the potatoes. In my mind, it is totally worth it for the delicious crunch and flavour of these crispy potato fries.
Why do potato fries become crispier if you fry them twice?
When you place food into hot oil it looks as though the oil is boiling. This is not true. It’s not the oil that boils, but the moisture near the surface of the food that boils, causing the oil to seem as though it is bubbling.
As the food cools after being fried, internal moisture rises to the surface, so the second frying boils off more moisture. Less moisture left in the food equals a drier, and therefore crispier result.
What can I serve with crispy potato fries
These fries are great as a snack, served with a bowl of dipping sauce such as ketchup, or homemade mayonnaise.
Serve topped with a fried egg, alongside a piece of steak, or turn them into a quick supper with sausages and baked beans.
And of course, there’s always the traditional fish and chips with mushy peas.
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You will also need a couple of mixing bowls for holding the eg and milk mixure and also the flour coating.
And finally, a slotted spoon for removing the crispy fries from the pan.
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Recipe – Crispy Potato Fries
Crispy Potato Fries with a spicy coating
- 4 large potatoes (1 per person)
- 1 medium egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup plain lour
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic flakes or garlic salt
- 250 g lard
- Peel potatoes and cut them into thick chip shapes
- Mix egg and milk together in a bowl
- Mix the flour and spices together in another bowl.
- Heat the lard in a frying pan until it sizzles when a chip is dropped in.
- Dip the chips first in the milk mixture, then in the flour mixture.
- Fry the chips in batches in the lard for about 5 minutes until they are golden. Remove with a slotted spoon onto kitchen paper to drain
- Repeat until all the chips have been fried.
- Fry the chips a second time for about 2 minutes.
- Remove onto kitchen paper to drain, then serve.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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