Fish & Chips, A total British classic right? A crispy battered deep-fried fish is always going to be a winner, but what if we combine it with perfectly cooked oven chips…. A match made in heaven. The aim here is to give you a helpful guide into serving up a true classic with ease.
First we will look a little in why we want to use the oven chips, what potatoes work well for creating a golden delicious oven cooked chip & of course, How to cook the chips.
Once we have covered the chips we will look at what fish we can use and the batter behind a perfect golden deep-fried fish.
If you have arrived for the recipe. At the bottom of the guide is the printable Recipe as always.
Oven Chips Vs The Fried
It really has taken me some time to learn to love the oven chips, I have always been such a fan of the deep-fried Method. So after spending some time finding the right process I have found a way to love the oven and put the fried chips on the list of special Occasions.
Now of course my super triple cooked chips are deep-fried and they are pretty amazing. But it’s about balance, if chips are on the menu a couple of times a week its good not to be reaching for that oil every night right?
Why To Use Oven Chips With Fried Fish
So the main reason we go down the oven route when serving us a classic fish and chips is space. Generally cooking for a family of 5 on a small hob is challenging enough but when we try to serve up for 5…….Well let’s just say frying that much in such a small space is playing with fire!
Here I think is the best solution, Get the chips in the oven and out-of-the-way. Fry the fish in the oil. It keeps things simple, and you know me and simple by now! Of course I could make out that it’s also about the health benefits but hey, I ain’t going to pretend to be a health guru! I just cook yummy food.
What Are The Best Potatoes For Oven Cooking / Roasting
- Maris Piper Potatoes
White flesh and a dry, floury texture make this variety perfect for chips, roasting, baking and mash.
- King Edward Potatoes
A fluffy, floury texture means these are ideal for chips, roasting, baking and mash.
- Desiree Potatoes
Pink-skinned with yellow, creamy flesh, this variety makes delicious mash, & Great for roasting
What Herbs & Spices For Oven Chips
Adding a touch of spice is a great way to elevate the oven chips and the right herb can add that touch of freshness too! For the classic fish and chips we are going to be using; Paprika, Salt & Pepper, Garlic Powder and Parsley.
You could also create some phenomenal curried chips simply using curry powder in place of the paprika. So you can really get experimental. Be sure to check out my Essential Herbs & Spices Post for more tips on get spicy.
Helpful Tools When It Comes To Oven Chips
For me the most important item for oven chips delight is the mesh oven trays. The mesh oven trays let the air circulate around the entire chip, I have always found this to achieve a much better & crispy chip.
How to Make Oven Chips
To make oven chips first you need to take your chosen potato from the list above. I personally leave the skin on the potatoes because hey it’s a health benefit that saves time. You can peel them if you so choose. Here you can cut them into the size and thickness you like. It’s a very down to how you like it guide at this point I know but if we cover the basics you can expand in your own way.
Once we have our cut the chips the next stage is parboiling. Here we are removing moisture from the chips even though we are cooking in water. Science hey? To parboil bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the chips. As a rough guide to follow would be:
- Thin Chips 2-4 mins
- Medium or Steak cut 4 -7 mins
- Thick cut chips 8-10 mins
We don’t want to cook the chips for to long as they will become to soft and wont crisp up when cooked in the oven. Also its super important to let the chips steam dry. We want them to roast in the oven not steam cook.
Which Oil, What Seasonings
Trying to find which cooking oil can be a daunting task. All this talk of high flash (smoke) points, even the healthy talks of which cooking oil that has a healthy balance of Omega 3 to Omega 6. The simple thing to remember is: High temperature cooking, select cooking oils with a high smoke point. For low temperature cooking, chose oils with a higher Omega-3 fatty acids.
For me the 3 Oils I would use for oven chips are
- Vegetable Oil – Smoke Point – 227°C 440°F
- Sunflower Oil – Smoke Point – 227°C 440°F
- Olive Oil – Smoke Point – 216°C 420°F
For the fish and chips recipe, We are going to use, Salt, Pepper, Paprika & Garlic powder. We will be adding parsley at the end but not while cooking. Here you could mix the seasonings up and achieve some great flavours. The process will stay the same but try changing paprika for curry powder and leave the garlic powder. Add some Thyme or Rosemary to give a more hereby flavoured roasted chip. The list is endless.
Applying the Oils & Seasoning
A great deal of recipes I see involve placing the oven chips on a tray and drizzling with oil. For me it’s not the way. The pan we used for parboil can now be used to coat the chips with our chosen oil and seasonings. Once the chips have steamed dry next we move onto coating.
Use the Pan that the chips were par boiled in and wipe clean. Place on the hob and add a good glug of your chosen Oil, Grind in Salt & Pepper and add the paprika. Place on a med – high heat until the oil is just starting to bubble. Add the garlic powder and then add the chips back into the oil mix string with a wooden spoon to ensure they are coated all over. Empty the chips on to the mesh cooking tray or Oven tin.
Into the Oven Go The Chips
Finally into a hot 200 degree oven for 45 mins. A top tip with all oven potatoes is 5 mins before you bring them out, open the oven door and spray the chips with balsamic vinegar spray. Tastes amazing. Once the chips are golden remove and sprinkle over with a touch more salt, pepper and fresh Parsley.
Onto the Fish!
Wow we certainly deep dived into the world of the oven chip there! Now let’s go fishing for that perfect fried fish. For this section we want to look at what fish works well for deep-frying and the best type of batter. I have a couple of do’s and do not’s when it comes to fish so we will add them here too.
Which Fish Works Well For Deep Frying
- Cod – You’ll want to keep the temperature of your oil at 375°. If the temperature falls below that mark, the batter will begin to absorb the oil rather than remaining crispy. If the temperature gets much higher than that, the insides will not cook to a safe temp before the outside is crispy.
- Haddock – Few other whitefish match the sustainability and versatility of haddock. Mainly farmed and wild-caught in New England, haddock works with the same cooking methods as cod and tilapia.
- Tilapia or Catfish – If cod or haddock isn’t your style, try farm-raised tilapia or catfish. Both these ready-to-fry fish are readily available at most markets and not to expensive. Tilapia is a mild-tasting versatile fish allows you to play with various seasonings and batters.
Batters Or Breading When It Comes To Fish
What is a Batter? A Batter is thin dough that can be used and as a coating for fried foods. The word batter comes from the French word battre which means to beat, as many batters require vigorous beating or whisking in their preparation.
What is Breading? Breading is when Bread crumbs are used for coating the fish. We can create breadcrumbs from using bread and a blender or can be brought in a packet as golden or white breadcrumbs.
For the classic fish and chips the batter way we find works the best. The simple batter recipe I have included here is so versatile it can be used for anytime you’re looking for a crispy coating! I love the idea of finding one recipe as a base then adding to it where you like.
A Simple Versatile Batter
- 75 g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- generous pinch of salt
- Freshly milled black pepper
- 100 ml chilled water (fizzy water) or pale ale
- Add the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper into a mixing bowl, then gradually add the water, whisking continuously until the batter is smooth and free from lumps.
I didn’t even need more than one step it really is that simple. Of course you know what I am going to say…… Spice it up so again try adding a few herbs and spices. If we were talking chicken here I would add some time and maybe a touch Cayenne. Really once you have a base recipe it’s yours to play with.
How to Coat Fish In Batter
To coat fish in batter firstly pat the fish dry with some kitchen paper and remove any stray bones. Then put the fillets into the batter and turn them over a few times to make sure they are evenly coated with the batter. Use tongs here otherwise its super messy. Bring out of the batter mix and let the excess drip off before adding to the oil.
What Oil Can Be Used In Deep Frying
When choosing oils for deep-frying we again what to look at the smoke point. Remember earlier we said that for cooking in high temps we want a high smoke point.
A Key point to remember is with different Oils comes a different taste. Canola oil’s neutral taste makes it an excellent choice for deep-frying. Additionally, while peanut oil is derived from peanuts, it does not make your food taste like its namesake. It also has a neutral flavor which is great for frying. Others may include:
- Peanut oil
- Canola oil
- Coconut Oil
- Grapeseed Oil
- Soybean Oil
- Corn Oil
- Cottonseed Oil
Deep Frying Fish
Heat oil in a deep fryer to 185ºc /375ºF. If you are frying in a stock pot, use a candy/fry kitchen thermometer to ensure your temperature remains the same throughout the cooking.
Fry the fish, two or three pieces at a time, in the hot oil until the coating is golden and fish begins to flake when tested with a fork, turning once. This takes about 3 or 4 minutes per batch. Drain on kitchen paper, and serve warm.
Seasoning The Fish
Essentially here a lemon works the best! We always see fish & chips served with lemons and the reason for this is, well you guessed it, It’s Delicious! A simple squeeze will take that dish up a level and requires no extra effort! Always have a lemon ready when creating fish and chips.
The Printable Recipe
Welcome to the recipe. We have dived down into some detail there so here is the recipe in a nutshell. We are going serve with a crushed pea. It’s dreamy and so so good. Enjoy
Fried Fish & Yummy Oven Chips With Crushed Peas
For the Chips
- 6 Large Potatoes: King Edwards Desiree, Maris Piper
- 4 Tbsp Oil
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- Parsley to serve
For the fish : note double the batter recipe if using more fish.
- 4 pieces of fish: cod or haddock work well here
- 75 g plain flour.
- 1 teaspoon baking powder.
- generous pinch of salt.
- Freshly milled black pepper.
- 100 ml chilled water fizzy or pale ale.
- Frozen Pea's
- 1 tbsp Butter
- Fresh Lemons
Heat oven to 200C fan, Bring a large pot of water to the boil on the hob
- Peel 6 large floury potatoes and cut them into long chip shapes and drop into the hot water. after 4 mins remove and leave to steam dry.
- wipe clean the pot used for boiling and place on the stove. add the oil and heat up gently. Once hot add the salt, pepper, paprika and garlic then add the chips back into the pan and coat all over.
- Place the coated chips onto the oven tray or a wire mesh net and place into the oven and set a timer for 45 mins.
Next Onto the fish.
- Heat up the deep fryer if using or a large stockpot quarter filled with oil to 185c
- add the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper into a mixing bowl, then gradually add the water, whisking continuously until the batter is smooth and free from lumps.
- Next pat the fish dry with some kitchen paper and remove any stray bones. Then put the fillets into the batter and turn them over a few times to make sure they are evenly coated with and let sit until ready to cook.
- When the chips are at the last 15 mins of cooking begin to fry the fish. Take one fish at a time from the batter mix and let the excess batter run off before lowering into the fryer, repeat in batches of 4 cooking for 4-5 mins at a time turning half way bring out when golden and keep warm.
- 5 mins before bringing the chips from the oven spray open the door and spray with balsamic vinegar. leave for 5 mins and then bring the chips out of the oven and season with salt and pepper and freshly cut parsley.
- heat a small amount of oil on a med to high heat in a frying pan and add a few handfuls of frozen peas. cook for 4 mins and finish with 1 tbsp of butter and using a fork crush the peas a touch. Serve to the plate.
- to serve add the fish, chips and peas to the plates and a wedge of lemon.
To Conclude The Food
Fried Fish, Oven Chips what a match made in heaven. Thanks for reading along and hope we have managed to cover a great deal of information on the world of frying and oven cooking. Till next time thanks for reading and happy cooking.