Saturday, September 21, 2013

Recipe: Fish and Chips

Based on the recipe from the May 2006 Cook's Illustrated and the Cook's Illustrated Cookbook, 2011, page 440.  Read the story behind this dish in Sunday, Dinner for TwoServes 2.

In addition to cod you can also use another thick white fish such as hake or haddock. As both the fish and potatoes need to be fried this recipe includes both to help get the timing right so both arrive at the table hot and ready to eat.


2 quarts oil for frying
1 russet potato
¾ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon paprika
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
Table salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ pounds 1-inch thick cod fillet 
¾ cups cold beer (6 ounces)


  1. Peel the potato or scrub it clean with a vegetable brush.
  2. Trim each end of the potato and cut it lengthwise into ½–inch slices then cut each slice into ½–inch sticks.
  3. In a microwave safe bowl, toss the fries with 2 tablespoons oil, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high until the fries are partially translucent and bendable but not fully cooked, 1 to 5 minutes.
  4. Carefully pour off the water, rinse the potatoes with cold running water, pat dry with a towel, and let the potatoes cool to room temperature.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, cayenne, paprika, pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt. 
  6. Transfer a little less than ½ cup of the mixture to a baking sheet.
  7. Whisk the baking powder into the mixture in the bowl.
  8. In a heavy Dutch oven, heat oil on medium to 350°.
  9. Increase the heat to high,  add the pates to the oil, and cook with occasional stirring until the fries are light golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes.
  10. Transfer the fries to several layers of paper towels to drain.
  11. Reduce heat to medium and heat the oil to 375°.
  12. Pat the fish dry and cut it crosswise into four pieces.
  13. Dredge the fish in the flour mixture on the baking sheet, shake off the excess flour, and place the floured fish on a wire rack.
  14. Whisk beer into the flour mixture in the bowl and stir to just combine. The batter should fall from the whisk in a thin steady stream; add additional beer a few teaspoons at a time if the batter is too thick.  
  15. (Drink the leftover beer.)
  16. Using tongs. dip the fish one piece at a time in the batter, let the excess batter drain, then coat the fish with the flour mixture on the baking sheet.
  17. When the oil reaches 375° increase the heat to high and carefully add the fish, shaking off excess flour.
  18. Fry until golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes, then transfer the fish to several layers of paper towels to drain.
  19. When oil reaches 375° return the fries to the oil and cook until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
  20. Remove fries to paper towels to drain, season with salt, and serve with the fish.
Cut a russet potato into ½–inch sticks.
Cook in the microwave with oil until just floppy.
Whisk together coating for fish.
Cook the potatoes until light golden brown
Coat the fish in some of the flour mixture.

Add beer to the remaining flour mixture to make a batter.

Dip the fish in the batter and coat with the flour mixture.
Fry until golden brown.
Return the fries to the hot oil and cook until crispy and golden brown.

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