The Real Deal Fish & Chips

Taverns make the best fish and chips.

When I was a kid, my dad stopped on Fridays at a local tavern on his way home and got greasy bags of succulent fish and crisp french fries.

When I married, our local tavern had Friday fish fries and we used to gorge.

Then they changed hands, and well, that was the end of that.

So I had to learn.

And I’m very picky about my fish. The “Gordon’s” crap is uneatable. So I had to learn.

Alton Brown from the Food Network did this one up, and it is perfect.

I know, deep-frying is a pain. I have a big old lunky deep fryer, but frankly find a big cast iron skillet works best and I don’t use nearly the oil.

I’ve given you two ways to do the french fries. Frankly I always bake mine now.

So get to it, cuz you know you love it.


  • 3/4 c flour
  • 1/2 c cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can beer
  • 1 1/2 lbs. fish of your choice
  • 3/4 c flour
  • 3-4 russet potatoes
  • oil


  1. Mix the dry ingredients with a whisk and then add the beer until you get a pretty thin batter.
  2. Dry fish and cut into manageable pieces.
  3. Dust in the flour and place on a rack until all are done.
  4. Then with a wooden skewer (this just works so nicely), dip in the batter and let excessive drip off. Then back into the flour. Then replace on the rack.
  5. Place in a 375° oil deep fryer or other suitable pan until done–lightly browned. Don’t crowd.
  6. Place on a rack with paper towelling beneath to catch drips. When all are done, place in a warm oven to hold until french fries are done.


  1. Cut up potatoes into nice stick form. Place in a microwave safe dish with 1/4 oil and cook just until pliable.
  2. Dry the potatoes.
  3. Place in the oil at 325-250°  for about 6-8 minutes. Remove, drain, and when all are done, refry for 3 minutes more in batches again.


  1. Cut up potatoes. Uniformity matters more here. Place in a plastic bag and add about 3 tbsp of oil. Shake and massage until all are coated.
  2. Place on a parchment paper lined jelly roll or cookie sheet. Don’t let chips touch each other. You may need 2 sheets to accommodate all.
  3. Place in pre-heated 425° for about 12 minutes and then turn on the broiler and cook for an additional 10 minutes or so until nicely golden. (the broiler obviates having to tediously turn them all over).

Serves: 2-4

Serve with coleslaw and homemade tartar sauce.


One thought on “The Real Deal Fish & Chips

  1. Pingback: Tangy Tartar Sauciness | What's On the Stove?

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