Oven-baked potato chips make for an easy and impressive bite for holiday gatherings or anytime snacking, all without the fuss of a big pot of frying oil. Russet potatoes work best here as they have a higher starch content, but the more waxy golds will do in a pinch as will sweet potatoes (though they’ll need to cook longer at a lower temperature) but they won’t be as crispy as the russet. A few tips to follow for addictive chips: You’ll want thin, even slices, so a good mandoline slicer is best here or the slicer on a food processor. Otherwise, use a sharp knife and slice off a small piece from one long side of the potato so it’s flush with the cutting board and not wobbly, making for easier and safer cutting. Make sure to rinse and thoroughly pat dry the potatoes. And go for sturdy baking sheets that hold up to high oven temperatures without warping. These potatoes are delicious with a sprinkling of salt, but the seasoning options are many. Think herbs, garlic, truffle salt, even a dash of Tabasco mixed with powdered sugar. Or consider a favorite dip to accompany the chips, or perhaps pile onto a sandwich for an extra crunch or serve atop a main course, preferably one with a bit of sauce for dipping the crispy potato bits. — Kim Sunée
Oven-baked potato chips
Makes 4 to 6 servings
3 to 4 large russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1/8-inch thick)
Cooking spray or vegetable oil, for greasing baking sheets
About 1/3 cup olive oil or other vegetable oil such as grapeseed or avocado
Optional seasonings: truffle salt, paprika, cracked black pepper, garlic, fresh or dried herbs such as cilantro, rosemary, chives or malt vinegar.
For serving: sour cream/crème fraiche plus caviar/salmon roe; favorite dips such as onion, yogurt-cucumber-dill, or make a big batch and serve as a side to roasted fish or meats or vegetables.
• Heat oven to 475 degrees F. (Note that you’ll reduce oven temp when ready to bake.) Slice potatoes and place in a large bowl of ice water; let sit for 15-30 minutes. Rinse potatoes several times, drain thoroughly, and spread out slices on paper towels or clean kitchen towels. Using a dry kitchen towel or paper towel, pat each slice thoroughly dry, pressing down gently to remove all moisture, on both sides. Note: This takes some time but is worth the effort for crispy chips.
• Spray or brush a thin layer of oil to coat two sturdy baking sheets. Spread potato slices in a single layer, without overlapping or overcrowding. Place oil in a small bowl and gently brush each potato with a very thin layer of oil, coating evenly but being careful not to over coat. When oven is to temp, place sheets in oven and immediately reduce oven temp to 425 degrees. Ovens vary, so you might need to reduce temp to just under 425 degrees if chips are browning too quickly. Bake chips, rotating pans for even cooking; check after 8 to 9 minutes, removing slices as they turn golden brown. Let bake another few minutes, and until potatoes are golden and crispy. But keep an eye on them. Some might cook faster than others, just remove the cooked ones and bake the other slices, turning with kitchen tongs, as needed, until ready. Let cool a few minutes on baking sheets then remove to a cooling rack and season according to taste, i.e. with salt, pepper, herbs, etc. Bake remaining potato slices. Serve with desired dips and toppings or as a side dish. Any extra can be cooled completely and stored in an airtight container or bag and left at room temp for a few days.