I’m one of those people who grew up eating Kentucky Fried Chicken from time to time. Dad would occasionally bring home a bucket of chicken with our favorite sides as a treat for us on his way home from grocery shopping on the weekends. He barely made it in the door before we’d grab the food right out of his hands, and started eating before our butts even landed in a chair. As always, the groceries remained unpacked until we finished.
Over the years, I have tried many others and I can still say that KFC is still my favorite. Unfortunately, the company began to close many of its stores back in the 1990′s, and now has a more targeted store placement based on refined demographics. Our local store didn’t make the cut and closed its doors a few years ago — but before they did, I made it in there one last time.
They had added a new product to their revised menu — hand cut potato chips.
Other than their delicious chicken options, this was going to be another good reason to visit. When I first saw the advertisement for their fresh potato chips on their billboard along the highway, I decided to dash in and try them. I was fully expecting to get a delicious container full of warm, freshly fried potato chips, but what I got was even better.
The fellow behind the counter was a little overzealous when tossing the thinly sliced potatoes into the oil, and he happened to add in a few too many. What came out of the fryer was a mixture of warm, partly crispy chips with thin spots of soft potato here and there. I am sure this was a mistake, but we were all pleasantly surprised at how delicious they really were.
Long after the store had closed, my family and I began to crave those chips. Our craving really kicked into high gear one day when I was juggling several articles and a few new recipes, and really did not have time to stand by the fryer to make the chips. I wanted to come up with a good way to make them in the oven, so that I could spare the room on the stove top for all of the other recipes I was working on.
After making them in the oven a few times, I finally achieved a result that was even better than the one I remembered at KFC. The potatoes had even more crispy edges, which further complimented the creamy pockets of potato that you would come across here and there.
I discovered that tossing on some mixed herbs with the salt and pepper right after they came out of the oven made them even more delicious and very reminiscent of my oven roasted potatoes. The best part is that since they’re made in the oven, there’s little effort on my part other than a a few minutes tossing here and there.
So, now I’ve introduced you to scraggly potato chips and I know that you will thank me once you’ve tried them. I guarantee you that if they are on your dinner menu, your family will be hovering around the kitchen, impatiently waiting for those babies to hit the table. Do yourself a favor and make a double batch.
Oven Fried Scraggly Potato Chips (serves 2-3)
2 large potatoes, sliced on mandolin or side grater **one potato per person
4 tablespoons of olive oil **use 2 tablespoons per potato
S & P
large pinch of lemon pepper **optional
2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning **optional OR
2 tablespoons of oregano**optional
Peel your potatoes and either use a mandolin to slice them thinly or use the side panel of your box grater to slice the potatoes into chips. This is what I usually use because I’m not too worried about everything being the same size. Just be very careful not to cut yourself. Place the sliced potatoes in a small bowl or on a paper lined sheet pan and toss with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil per potato that you are using and make sure all of the potatoes are coated. If you need a little more, add a little at a time until they are all evenly coated.
Spread the potatoes out onto the sheet pan so that they do not overlap too much, then cover them with another piece of parchment. Nestle a sheet pan over the parchment covered potatoes and place them onto the lower shelf of a hot 400- 425°F oven. This part is very important because the aluminum sheet pan is instrumental in cooking the potatoes evenly on the top and the bottom of each potato slice — mimicking the frying process .
Make sure they are all well coated with some oil…
Cover with a sheet of parchment paper…
Nestle another sheet pan on top of the covered potatoes…
Check them after 15 minutes by removing them from the oven and lifting the nestled sheet pan. You will see the potatoes begin to turn a golden brown through the parchment paper.
Once I see that they are taking on a nice color, I remove the nestled sheet pan and slowly peel off the top paper to make sure that nothing has stuck to it, then lay the piece of parchment back over the potatoes. I then place another sheet pan (or the same one) directly over the potatoes, and then invert them onto the other sheet pan (paper and all) — what was the bottom is now the top.
Peel back (what was) the bottom piece of parchment and then lay it back on top of the potatoes. Nestle the sheet pan over the paper again. Bake these for another 15 minutes and check again.
After 15 minutes, remove the nestled pan and the parchment paper. Your potatoes should now be fairly evenly browned on both sides. Now it is time to fry them in your hot oven without the use of any more parchment paper or the nestled sheet pan.
After about 10-15 minutes they will begin to take on even more of a golden color…whatever you do, don’t leave them unattended now because they are almost ready. Top with a good pinch of salt and pepper and any herbs you would like to use, then place them in the oven for the last time.
After the last 10-15 minutes or so, toss them and serve…