Homemade Fish and Chips

Homemade and Lovely

Homemade and Lovely

I am lucky in where I live, because “The Fish Folks” have a truck that they sell fresh fish off of in the Moscow Co-op parking lot on Friday’s most of the year. They have the freshest fish I can buy in the area. I only wish I was better about taking full advantage of them. I am not adventuress about my fish eating and only try the usual three or four types of fish and shellfish that I know and like. I am particularly picky about cod and will only eat it fried. It is fortunate that fish and chips is not too difficult to make at home because they often have really good fresh cod.

I like to use gluten free bread crumbs but I have read that people do use corn meal or almond meal in place of them with no trouble. My boyfriend swears by crushed pork rinds but I have yet to find any that I would feel safe eating with my oil sensitivity. I make the chips first and the fish second because the chips take about two hours and the fish takes about fifteen minutes. Some times when I’m lazy I just make the fish.

Chips or Fries

  • One potato for each serving
  • Cold water
  • One tablespoon per serving of clean non spiting fat. Lard or duck fat work best.
  • Salt

Chop up one potato for each serving of fries. I don’t mind skin so I don’t peal my potatoes but some people do. I don’t find any one variety of potato works better for fries than any other but I do make sure they are not green or the fries will be bitter. The trick to making sure the fries cook through and don’t burn is cutting the chips as evenly sized as possible. The length of the fry is less important than its thickness. I generally choose potatoes that are the same size when I need to make more than one serving so all of the fries cook through evenly. I slice each potato the same way, creating matching slices one way and then the other trying to make as many 1/4 inch sized square strips as possible out of each potato. Then I drop the slices in a bowl of clean water to soak for at least an hour. Longer is fine but an hour is required so the slices soak out enough starch to bake up crispy in the oven.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. I spread my baking sheet with aluminum foil because I’m lazy about clean up, and while my oven is warming up put one tablespoon of lard or duck fat for each potato in a oven proof bowl to melt. I then drain my potatoes and damp them off with a towel or two. It’s not desperately important that they be dry but more water makes the chips take longer to crisp up properly. Then I pop the potatoes back in the bowl and when the fat is melted, drizzle it over them and stir them around so that they are all evenly coated with fat. The fat will thicken up due to the potatoes cold temperatures but it’s not important. What is important is that each piece is coated fairly evenly. Spread the greased potatoes out on your aluminum covered pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 to 60 minutes or until the fries split open when sliced with a fork to reveal cooked flesh. Fifteen minutes into baking time sprinkle the fries with salt and stir them so they don’t stick to the aluminum foil.

Breaded Fish

I like cod for this but my fish people tell me any whitefish can be breaded and fried. Any left over breadcrumbs, flour, and egg, can be mixed up with some water or milk and salt to create a quick little pancake to fry up in the hot pan after the fish has been cooked.

  • Fish– one four ounce slice for each serving
  • Egg
  • Rice flour
  • Bread crumbs
  • One tablespoon per serving of clean non spiting fat. Lard or duck fat work best.

Cut the cod so that it is no more than one half inch thick. Any thicker will not pan fry fast enough and will burn on the outside before the inside is done. Extra thick pieces can be butterflied. I would like to de-bone my fish at this point but often cod bones do not like to come out when raw.  An easy way to tell if your fish is done is if the bones pull out easily. This is my sign that fish is cooked perfectly.

After the fish is cut up I turn on my fry pan to medium. It is the same temperature that pancakes cook at. Not hot enough to burn but hot enough to brown.

I use the three plate method of breading. The first plate holds flour, the second holds a beaten egg, and the third has a layer of bread crumbs for the final dredge. Coating of the fish happens in the same order, first flour, then egg, and finally bread crumbs. Each coating must go on completely so that each will stick to the fish and the fish will cook up flaky and soft.

The fish needs to be cooked almost immediately after being breaded or the breading will become soggy. Add your fat to the hot pan and when completely melted, lay the fish in the fat and cook for three minutes on each side or until the fish flakes easily or the bones slide out without difficulty.

Serve hot with chips.

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