Chips and Fish

Total Time:
50 min
20 min
30 min

4 servings

  • For the fries:
  • 1 gallon safflower oil
  • 4 large Russet potatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • For the batter:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Dash Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 bottle brown beer, cold
  • 1 1/2 pounds firm-fleshed whitefish ( tilapia, pollock, cod), cut into 1-ounce strips
  • Cornstarch, for dredging

Heat oven to 200 degrees F.

Heat the safflower oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven over high heat until it reaches 320 degrees.

Using a V-slicer with a wide blade, slice the potatoes with the skin on. Place in a large bowl with cold water.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cayenne pepper, and Old Bay seasoning. Whisk in the beer until the batter is completely smooth and free of any lumps. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Note: The batter can be made up to 1 hour ahead of time.

Drain potatoes thoroughly, removing any excess water. When oil reaches 320 degrees, submerge the potatoes in the oil. Working in small batches, fry for 2 to 3 minutes until they are pale and floppy. Remove from oil, drain, and cool to room temperature.

Increase the temperature of the oil to 375 degrees. Re-immerse fries and cook until crisp and golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and drain on roasting rack. Season with kosher salt while hot and hold in the oven.

Allow oil to return to 350 degrees. Lightly dredge fish strips in cornstarch. Working in small batches, dip the fish into batter and immerse into hot oil. When the batter is set, turn the pieces of fish over and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Drain the fish on the roasting rack. Serve with malt vinegar.

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Pairs Well With

Crisp, refreshing light beer

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    158 Reviews
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    I would give the fries a 4. These were the best fries I've ever made! I just wished I could get them crispier. I chilled the 1/4" fries for at least 15min in an icebath. I also dried the heck out of them.  
    The fish coating on the other hand, was NOT good. The fish by itself was perfect. But the coating was too thick, unflavorful and had the look and consistency of KFC. I wanted that light and puffy coating one would expect. I will look elsewhere for a batter recipe. I used a counter-top basket fryer with a charcoal filter for Target on sale for $40. It still stunk up the kitchen. Best used outdoors!
    Wow! This was OUTSTANDING. I had read the reviews labeled as "most helpful" and bumped up the spices: I added more Old Bay, a little more cayenne, salt, black pepper, AND I salted, peppered, and Old Bayed the filet prior to coating it with a combo of flour and cornstarch. I also added about half again as much beer as suggested (also based on so many reviews). When I dropped the coated filets into the oil (I have a deep fryer with baskets), I held it and waved it back and forth as I slowly lowered it into the oil so that it wouldn't just drop and stick to the basket/pan. Also, FWIW, I used fresh halibut. Having done all that, this was by far the best fish n chips I have had. Not oily or greasy, totally Łbercrisp, light coating, flavorful, and perfectly cooked and flaky.  
    I always double fry my french fries using Alton's recipe. I also soak them in cold salted water and drain them and dry them on paper towels really well. I agree it's hard to get them to stay crisp, though.
    I agree about the fries. I would like to see a video of your batter method!
    Awesome recipe!!!
    this was incredibly tasty!!
    yes i agree
    What a mess! First off, there's no way a single 12 oz. bottle of beer is enough. I used most of a 22 oz. bottle and still had a thick batter. Second, there is nowhere near enough seasoning in this recipe - I would double the salt and spices. Third, the cornstarch dredge resulted in a batch with a very tinny, off flavor. I skipped the dredge altogether for the second batch and did have some batter coming off, but at least they didn't taste metallic. Maybe next time I would dredge in flour. I didn't deep-fry, so I used about 1 1/2 tbsp. of canola oil in a heavy non-stick pan and it worked fine. Didn't make the potatoes, so I can't comment on that. The texture of the fried batter is really nice, so I would try a heavily altered version of this recipe again, but if a recipe needs this much work then why post it?
    Excellent batter!
    This recipe for beer batter was really delicious. I had to add about 3/4 Cup of water to the recipe so that it wasn't a doughy mess. The fish was excellent, I even dredged some onion rings in it. The french fries however did NOT work out which is the only reason I am giving it 4 stars. 
    Great recipe! I also had to add mo' beer to thin it out, but hey...who doesn't love that?!
    Very good, but the bottle of dark beer I added to the batter wasn't enough liquid so I add some water to thin the batter slightly. I also added more than just a pinch of Old Bay's Seasoning because I love the flavor of Old Bay.
    Just made a batch and it came out great! I added a little over a bottle of beer to the batter to make it somewhat thinner. Already planning to serve this to a crowd next week.
    Did you go to Virginia Tech?
    A little more salt to the batter next time. But very good and esay except for standing in front of the fryer.
    I substituted chicken broth for beer and I will definitely make this again!
    Awesome. I don't even like fish, but whenever tilapia is on sale I like to make this. If only making the fish, I use only half the oil though just to save some money.  
    The potatoes can be a bit tricky, maybe it's because I had to cut them by hand. But still overall delicious.
    I have always been fearful of deep frying anything. after watching this show i can make perfect deep fried fish in a snap. Great work Alton!
    Loved the flavor and very easy to make
    Very tasty! It was my first attempt at Fish &Chips but I did alter it to be Gluten Free. I used Simply Gluten flour blend and GF beer. I was worried it wouldn't appear right after cooking but it was perfect! Even my fussy, fish hating daughter loved it; now that's saying something. Hubby of course is singing praises and says, "AB is really on to something here." (like he knows him, haha.
    My only complaint is that this recipe is too much for just the two of us. Regulating the oil is hard and time consuming, but important. I rely less on timing and more on the colour of the batter. When it's golden brown, it's done. Let the excess batter drip off if you are concerned about it being too thick and doughy. (Too much batter overwhelms the fish anyway... Make sure you turn the fish in the oil so both sides are equally cooked! LOVE this recipe, and my husband raves every time I make it! I may even give AB credit some time.
    I thought this was a great recipe.I picked an Alton brown recipe because he always seems to work the kinks out of recipes and perfects them. My husband loves fish and chips and I love to cook but this was one thing I have never made.I doubled the recipe and the batter was perfect,a little lumpy at first but u had to keep wisking it and it smoothed out. The first time I try a recipe I usually follow it pretty closely because usually I like to put my own spin on things...the only thing I changed was the seasoning,I added a little more old bay,salt and black pepper. Also the person cooking should be used to frying in a lot of oil as this can be dangerous,I think the cook should be a little experienced but overall this was a fantastic recipe.
    You will look over a few recipes while you weigh which Fish n' Chips rendition you deem worth your Cod. ¬ This is that recipe. ¬ As for advice; when you add the beer to the dry ingredients don't get discouraged if it doesn't come to a pourable form at first. ¬ It is going to foam a good bit but stay with it and soon enough you will have something that looks like you can work with. ¬ Also, there are going to be a few lumps but they didn't seem to make any difference in the final product. ¬ As for the dark beer, I used a Sam Adam's Cream Stout. ¬ It definitely contributed to the flavor. ¬ The chips were easy. Smaller strips of cod work better.
    The batter comes out extremely thick and is difficult to submerge the fish into evenly. When frying I cooked them for around 5 minutes and found the thick batter to still be raw in spots. It was pretty tasty, but I feel like the ratios are a bit out of whack and the batter should be thinned out somehow. I think it's worth another try but the shape of the fish and the fry time is going to be finicky.
    I thought the recipe was easy to follow, and the beer batter was excellent.
    First off, a 5-quart enameled Dutch oven (Lodge with a gallon of oil leaves about 2 inches headroom. When I submerged my dried potato wedges, it bubbled over oil which caught fire on the element and... you can guess the rest. Not backing down, I saved us from a house fire with an entire box of baking soda, cleaned up and used a DEEPER pot. I had 9 pieces of Cod to fry -- very thick batter --, and I kept the finished ones in the 200 degree oven to keep warm along with my chips. They were Soggy. Even turned temp up to try to recrisp, -- nope. I think the batter is just too dense. I don't know how or why people do this at home, but deep-frying will no longer be popular in my kitchen. It was dangerous, it was a mess, and it wasn't worth the effort.
    My husband, who isn't a fish fan, went back for seconds. Need I say more?
    Very tasty! My family really enjoyed this. I appreciate the pointer in dredging in cornstarch. My coating was a little thick so I wished I'd thinned it out a bit but the flavor was wonderful and it fried beautifully! My husband who doesn't like fish, even was loving it!
    What makes this recipe great is the dredge in cornstarch before the batter. The batter really adheres to the fish. I like to make a slightly thinner batter and, you will achieve professional Pub-like results as long as you control the temperature of your oil.
    This is the basic recipe I use for fish and chips and onion rings. I play with it some with old bay, various forms of heat (from red pepper flakes to tabasco and everything in between but for a basic recipe that all will like.... This is it. I've started to play more with some home made tarter sauces of varying heat to make it easier when I have a diverse group of people.
    Well, I know how much a SIFTED cup of flour weighs (hint to success #1), and I know that AB is worried about the "too spicy" and "too salty" whiners, so I added extra salt and spices (hint #2). All I had was a bottle of Lithuanian Porter, which is pretty much better than anything, save a microbrew, in the states (ANY beer in Lithuania is a microbrew, less than 3 million people live in the whole country). 
    After dredging (ever so lightly) the fish in corn starch (NO, NOT flour, not even corn flour, not even the same, EVER), I used an ancient chinese secret of dipping the fish into the batter using chopsticks, then into the hot oil (big hint #3!). 
    Bottom line: I used cod, and it was absolutely GREAT! Flaky fish inside a crunchy batter, and tasty! 
    I think the people who didn't like this recipe should go on back to "Long John's," to get what they're used to. If you know (not THINK you know) how to cook, AB won't dissappoint you!
    The batter for the fish is just about perfect. Flavorful, puffy yet crisp, and browns perfectly. As with most AB recipes, this is easy to make & tastes great!
    A classic! This is hands down, one of our favorite delicious fish recipes. Thanks for sharing.
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