Between some Irish heritage and being born on St. Patrick's Day, I've always had an affinity for Irish culture. And of course, Irish cuisine!
The absolute best way to enjoy Irish fish and chips is to visit The Emerald Isle in person - no recipe can replace the added experience of the salty sea air and green rolling hills. But if you must celebrate our favorite March holiday away from Ireland, we're sharing this excellent recipe which is easy to make at home. Or, you can also enjoy these as part of an Irish themed dinner at our private dining experience at Kimball Terrace on the 19th and 20th of this month.
Eat well. And Éirinn go Brách!
To achieve the right doneness and the right crisp, the potatoes need to be cooked twice - once at a lower temperature for a longer period, and then again at a higher temp for a shorter period. This can be accomplished several ways, but perhaps the easiest - especially on shorter notice, is to use a single fry pot and run your cooking in three stages. First, fry the potatoes for the first time while the oil is coming up to temp. Second, once the oil is hot, batter and fry your fish. Third, fry the potatoes for the second and final time.
- 3 pounds of potatoes (Yukon golds or Russets both work well), cut into 1/4 - 1/2 inch plank fries
- 3-4 quarts (depending on your fry pot) frying oil (we prefer peanut oil or standard vegetable oil over canola oil)
- 1 1/2 pounds of cod (or other thick fillet white fish like haddock), cut into ~3-4 oz pieces
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- kosher salt
- 12 ounces cold beer (we recommend a light bodied lager or pale ale, but many beers, including non-alcoholic beers work well - just try to avoid the dark stouts and ales, as well as very hoppy beers and IPAs)
- When you're ready to begin cooking, pat fish fillets dry with paper towels and season lightly with salt and black pepper. Hold uncovered in refrigerator until ready to batter and fry.
- Whisk the 1 1/2 cups flour, cornstarch, baking powder, paprika, and cayenne together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Prepare 2 baking sheets with cooling racks to hold your fish and chips after they cook.
- Combine potatoes and oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot. Cook over high heat, until oil has reached a boil (5-7 minutes). Continue to cook, stirring only occasionally and gently, until potatoes are limp and only just beginning to brown (15-20 minutes). Using a skimmer or mesh basket, remove potatoes from oil and transfer to one of your prepared baking sheets with rack.
- Heat the oil to 375 F. While it is heating, transfer 2/3 cup of the flour mixture to a baking sheet or large plate. Add the cold beer to the remaining mixture and stir until smooth.
- Dredge the fresh fillets in the dry flour mixture until well coated on all sides. Using tongs, dip the fillets into the batter, ensuring the batter coats all sides. Allow any excess batter to run off and return to the dry mix plate again.
- Once the oil is at 375 F, add battered fish to oil. Fry, turning each fillet occasionally, until the batter coating is golden brown - about 6-8 minutes. Transfer fried fish to your second baking sheet with rack to drain. If it's necessary to fry your fillets in multiple batches, make sure the oil returns to 375 before you start a second batch.
- After all fish fillets are fried, allow the oil to return to 375. Add the fries and cook for the final time until golden brown and nicely crispy on the exterior - about 3-5 minutes. Return fries to sheet with rack and season with salt to taste.
- Enjoy fish and chips immediately while hot. Serve with tartar sauce and/or malt vinegar.