For authentic pub-style fish and chips, we began with the fries (or “chips”). Our tried-and-true test kitchen method starting sliced Yukon Gold potatoes in room-temperature oil, then bringing the oil up to temperature to cook the fries worked well. To get everything on the table at the same time, we parcooked the fries, set them aside while we cooked the fish, then put the potatoes back in the hot oil at the end to finish cooking. As for the fish, a simple beer batter worked perfectly to create an airy-yet-crisp exterior. Try to find large Yukon Gold potatoes, 10 to 12 ounces each, that are similar in size. If you prefer, you can substitute seltzer for the beer. Haddock and halibut can be substituted for the cod. Serve with Tartar Sauce or Rémoulade.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- Total Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cornstarch
- Salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1½ cups mild lager, such as Budweiser
- 1 (2-pound) skinless cod fillet, about 1 inch thick
- 2½ pounds large Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled
- 2 quarts peanut or vegetable oil
- Lemon wedges
- Whisk flour, cornstarch, 1½ teaspoons salt, and baking powder together in large bowl. Whisk in beer until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or up to 1 hour.
- Cut cod crosswise into 8 equal fillets (about 4 ounces each). Pat cod dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper; refrigerate until ready to use.
- Square off each potato by cutting ¼-inch-thick slice from each of its 4 long sides. Cut potatoes lengthwise into ¼-inch-thick planks. Stack 3 to 4 planks and cut into ¼-inch-thick fries. Repeat with remaining planks. (Do not place potatoes in water.)
- Line rimmed baking sheet with triple layer of paper towels. Combine potatoes and oil in Dutch oven and bring to rolling boil over high heat, about 7 minutes. Continue to fry, without stirring, until potatoes are limp but exteriors are beginning to firm, about 15 minutes longer. Using tongs, stir potatoes, gently scraping up any that stick, and continue to fry, stirring occasionally, until just lightly golden brown, about 4 minutes (fries will not be fully cooked at this point). Using wire skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer fries to prepared sheet. Skim off any browned bits left in pot.
- Set wire rack in second rimmed baking sheet. Transfer fish to batter and toss to evenly coat. Heat oil over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. Using fork, remove 4 pieces of fish from batter, allowing excess batter to drip back into bowl, and add to hot oil, briefly dragging fish along surface of oil to prevent sticking.
- Fry fish, stirring gently to prevent pieces from sticking together, until deep golden brown and crispy, about 4 minutes per side. Adjust burner, if necessary, to maintain oil temperature between 350 and 375 degrees. Using wire skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer fish to prepared wire rack and skim off any browned bits left in pot. Return oil to 375 degrees and repeat with remaining 4 pieces of fish.
- Return oil to 375 degrees. Add fries to oil and fry until deep golden brown and crispy, about 1 minute. Return fries to prepared sheet and season with salt. Transfer fish and chips to serving platter. Serve with lemon wedges.