1. TO MAKE THE DIP: Line a jelly roll pan with crumpled paper towels. In a deep Dutch oven, melt vegetable shortening over high heat to a depth of 2 to 3 inches and heat it to 350°F. If you have a frying basket to fit the Dutch oven, place the shallots in the basket. Deep-fry the shallots until golden brown, about 1 minute. Remove from the shortening (if you aren't using a basket, use a wire-mesh skimmer) and transfer to paper towels to drain until cool. (You may use the same shortening to fry the potato chips, but if there are small pieces of shallots floating in it, remove them. If necessary, carefully strain the shortening through a wire strainer into another pan, then return it to the Dutch oven.)
2. In a small bowl, combine the shallots, sour cream, chives, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to blend the flavors.
3. TO MAKE THE CHIPS: Using a mandoline, cut the potatoes into paper-thin rounds. As they are cut, place them in a bowl of cold water and let stand while heating the shortening.
4. Place a large wire cake rack over a jelly roll pan. Fill a roasting pan with crumpled paper towels for draining the fried chips. In a deep Dutch oven, melt vegetable shortening over high heat to a depth of
2 to 3 inches and heat it to 350°F.
5. Drain the potatoes well. Line a work surface with paper towels and spread with 1 layer of potatoes. Separate each new layer of potatoes with more paper towels and pat the potatoes completely dry.
6. In separate batches, without crowding, deep-fry the potatoes, stirring often with a wire-mesh strainer to separate the chips, until the chips are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Using the skimmer, transfer the chips to the wire rack to drain briefly, then move them to the paper towels to remove excess oil. Separate each new layer of chips with more paper towels. The potato chips will crisp as they cool, and are best served at room temperature within 6 hours of frying. Just before serving, sprinkle with salt. Serve with the shallot dip.
NOTE: Don't salt deep-fried foods until just before serving, or the salt will make the food soggy.
This Saratoga Potato Chips recipe is from the Fried & True: Crispy and Delicious Dishes from Appetizers to Desserts Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.
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