Alibi V.18 No.43 • Oct 22-28, 2009 


There's nothing wrong with potato chips in a bag. Except, we guess, their temperature: They are cold. Chips, like anything fried, are better hot. This is a scientific fact.

The best advice we can give you? Drop a small handful of potato into the hot oil first to prevent scary spill-over oil fires, and don't do this barefoot.

Hot Chips

Makes a big bag


4 medium-size potatoes (purple are prettiest)
2 liters canola oil
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper
1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley

The Day Before

1) Scrub potatoes clean. Slice potatoes using a mandolin to achieve a consistent centimeter-or-less thickness. If you slice them lengthwise, you'll get nice, long chips. Use that finger guard unless you're a daily mandolin user.

2) Rinsing: Fill two large containers (stockpots work great) halfway with clean water. Fill one with sliced potatoes and swirl them around to get rid of excess starch. After 4 minutes of vigor, transfer the partially clean potatoes into the other pot of clear water and repeat this process, replacing the starchy water with clean water, until the chips are not releasing any starch. To do this correctly, as you can tell, you will use lots of water (use the water on your plants and you won't feel so bad).

3) Place the now clean potato proto-chips in a large Tupperware or vessel and cover with clean water. Jam into the fridge and let sit overnight.

The Day Of

4) Fill a large vessel—either a cast-iron pot or your favorite, sturdy soup pot—two-thirds full with canola oil. Keep on high heat for about 20 minutes until oil is hot, hot, hot. Don't bother with a thermometer—drop in one chip (dry it first) to test. It should float and sizzle hard.

5) Vigorously dry the chips using a salad spinner. You want them to have as little moisture as possible to avoid a nasty oil-water reaction. Pat them dry if need be.

6) Drop chips in small handfuls, never exceeding a ratio of roughly one-fifth chips to four-fifths oil. Otherwise your frying ... will ... be ... slow.

7) Once the first chips start to brown and appear crisp to the touch, fish them out with a strainer or tongs. Let dry on paper towels.

8) Season with salt, pepper and parsley and serve immediately.

Soundtrack: Hot Chip's "Made in the Dark"