Potato chips are so ubiquitously available in bags that it probably doesn't occur to you that to make them from scratch at home. But restaurant cooks have been making these crispy, salty treats to order since 1853 when the fried slips of potato goodness were served at Moon Lake Lodge in Saratoga Springs. The exact origins of the dish are lost to history. Depending on who was telling the tale at the time, "Saratoga chips" as they were then known, were either the product of a peevish chef who fried off paper-thin potato shavings to send to the table of a difficult guest who repeatedly sent “too thick” French fries back to the kitchen, or it was a serendipitous mistake when some potato slices that were being prepped for another dish fell into a pan of bubbling fat. Once they were fished out and tasted, they were added to the menu. Whichever story you believe, a tradition — and beloved snack food — was born.
DIY potato chips are quick and easy to prepare; you get the benefit of fresh warm chips, with no preservatives, seasoned exactly the way you wish. The trick is to get them the right thickness — too thick and they will stay raw in the center, too thin and they will burn and disintegrate. We recommend 1/16"-thick rounds sliced on a mandoline for consistency. Any type of potato or tuber can be chipped in this manner.
What You Need:
3 medium potatoes
About 1 liter of oil for frying
Sea salt and other spices
Heavy bottomed Dutch Oven
What To Do:
Slice the potatoes into thin rounds using the mandoline. Place the slices in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Swish and then drain.
Place the slices in a single layer on a towel, and then roll it up to lightly dry them. If they are too wet, they won't get properly crispy. Keep the slices rolled up in the towel as you cook off your batches. This will keep them from oxidizing and turning brown in the bad way.
To fry the chips, heat a Dutch oven of canola oil to 375 degrees, and fry the potato slices in small batches. Be careful not to put to many slices in at a time, or your chips will clump together and stay soggy. Fry for just a minute or two, stirring frequently with a slotted spoon until the chips are a light golden brown and the bubbling oil calms. Remove the chips with a slotted spoon, and place on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet to drain. Sprinkle with salt and/or the seasonings of your choice.