Crunchy Potato Wedges

From Cook's Country | February/March 2007
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Why this recipe works:

We wanted to create a recipe for fast food-style crunchy potato wedges that we could prepare at home. Microwaving the potatoes in a tightly covered bowl helped them obtain perfectly cooked interiors and nicely crisped exteriors. For our recipe’s coating, adding baking soda to the buttermilk… read more

We wanted to create a recipe for fast food-style crunchy potato wedges that we could prepare at home. Microwaving the potatoes in a tightly covered bowl helped them obtain perfectly cooked interiors and nicely crisped exteriors. For our recipe’s coating, adding baking soda to the buttermilk and replacing some of the flour with cornstarch resulted in crunchy, deep golden brown wedges. Finally, seasoning our crunchy potato wedges with a spice blend as they precooked in the microwave, then tossing the wedges in the seasonings when they came out of the oil, produced potatoes that were flavored from the inside out.

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Serves 6

If you don't have buttermilk, substitute 1 cup milk mixed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Let the mixture sit 15 minutes before using.

Ingredients

  • 3 large russet potatoes (about 1 3/4 pounds), scrubbed and cut into 1/4-inch wedges
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil or peanut oil, plus 3 quarts for frying
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. 1. Combine salt, pepper, onion and garlic powders, cayenne, and oregano in small bowl.

    2. Toss potato wedges with 4 teaspoons spice mixture and 1_4 cup oil in large microwave-safe bowl; cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave on high until potatoes are tender but not falling apart, 7 to 9 minutes, shaking bowl (without removing plastic) to redistribute potatoes halfway through cooking. Slowly remove plastic wrap from bowl (be careful of steam) and drain potatoes. Arrange potatoes on rimmed baking sheet and cool until potatoes firm up, about 10 minutes. (Potatoes can be held at room temperature for up to 2 hours.)

    3. Heat remaining 3 quarts oil in large Dutch oven over high heat to 340 degrees. Meanwhile, combine flour and cornstarch in medium bowl and whisk buttermilk and baking soda in large bowl. Working in 2 batches, dredge potato wedges in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Dip in buttermilk mixture, allowing excess to drip back into bowl, then coat again in flour mixture. Shake off excess and place on wire rack. (Potatoes can be coated up to 30 minutes in advance.)

    4. When oil is ready, add half the coated wedges and fry until deep golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer wedges to large bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon spice mixture. Drain wedges on baking sheet lined with paper towels. Return oil to 340 degrees and repeat with second batch of wedges. Serve with extra seasoning on side.

    Make Ahead: Our Crunchy Potato Wedges freeze very well. Follow steps 1 through 4, frying each batch of wedges until they are light golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Do not toss with seasoning, and drain and cool potatoes completely on baking sheet lined with paper towels. Freeze wedges on baking sheet until completely frozen, about 2 hours, then transfer potatoes to zipper-lock storage bag for up to 2 months. When ready to eat, heat 3 quarts oil to 340 degrees and cook in 2 batches until deep golden brown, about 3 minutes. Toss with seasonings, drain, and serve.

The Secret to Crunchy Potato Wedges

Achieving a flavorful, crunchy crust and a well-seasoned, tender, fluffy interior for our potato wedges was harder than we thought. Here's how we did it.

1. Precooking the wedges in the microwave with the spice mixture ensures a fluffy, well-seasoned interior when fried.

2. A triple coating of flour/cornstarch, buttermilk, and flour/cornstarch gives these wedges a super-crunchy exterior.

3. After frying, a final toss with seasoning provides an extra flavor boost.

Detail sfs crunchy potato wedges 12
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