A fried potato by any other name would still taste as good.
What do you call these fried potatoes? I always just called them homemade potato chips. I’ve recently discovered they’re also called raw fries, wing chips and sometimes even cottage fries. But I’ve now decided to call them BETTER THAN ANYTHING IN A BAG.
I found out the secret (well, it was a secret to me) to making great homemade potato chips in my Magnolias: Authentic Southern Cuisine cookbook, which I’ve touted in the past. It says that you should put the sliced potatoes in a bowl of cold water and swish them around to get rid of some of the starch. Then after you drain them, you should pat them dry – I layered the slices between some paper towels to dry while I cooked them. They were awesome – perfectly crispy and golden. My middle name is crispy and golden.
The husband and I like to disagree on how they should be cooked, however, so I made some for him that were not so crispy (at restaurants they always call them floppy, but he refuses to use that word). And I filled up the ketchup squirt bottle so the kids could write on them. At the restaurant Magnolias in Charleston, they serve theirs as an appetizer with blue cheese and scallions. Delish. And definitely better than anything a bag.
Homemade Potato Chips
adapted from Magnolias: Authentic Southern Cuisine
- 1/2 gallon peanut or canola oil for frying
- 2 pounds russet potatoes, washed and sliced 1/16 inch thick
- fine sea salt
- Preheat the frying oil to 340 degrees.
- Using a vegetable slicer or mandoline with an adjustable setting and sharp blade, slice a few chips from a potato to get the thickness correct and consistent. (Consistent size cuts will result in consistent cooking.) Slice all the potato chips and place into a bowl of cold water. Agitate the chips lightly with your hand to release some of the starch. Drain. Pat the chips with a dry paper towel to dry off any moisture.
- Place about 1/3 of the chips in the oil, gently agitating with a skimmer. It is important not to overcrowd the chips in the oil. Watch over the chips so they cook evenly, around 3 to 4 minutes. The moisture of the chips will slowly cook out and the chips will become crispy and golden. Any under-colored chips may by soggy. Remove the chips from the hot oil with a skimmer, shake off the excess oil, and place on paper towels. Season with salt to taste. Spread out the chips so that they can cool. Repeat this process until all of the chips are fried.