Crispy Cottage Fries are made from Baked Potatoes in order to maximize the Crunch. Season them any way you like and enjoy. Optionally brine the Potatoes to get the seasoning right into the potatoes and get a Golden Crispy Crunch.
What are Cottage Fries
Cottage Fries are made by slicing potatoes with either the skin left on or peeled to the desired thickness and baked or fried in a skillet with some fat until crispy. They can be deep-fried as well. It’s their shape that earns them the names Cottage Fries or Coin Chips. The thickness of the slices varies and is a matter of preference.
What are Home Fries
Home Fries or Hashbrowns are diced potatoes fried in a skillet with fat or in the oven with some fat until crispy. Home Fries are generally fried until crisp, while hashbrowns can be fried up crisp or soft.
Any kind of potatoes can be used. Although I generally stick with Russets or other starchy potatoes. Either the skin peeled or left on.
My version bakes the potatoes and refrigerates them overnight in order to make the cottage fries.
Baking the potatoes first is the key to Cottage Fries with a Major Crunch. Since they are not boiled or steamed, which absorbs water, they are primed for soaking up the fat. Which, in turn, results in crispy potatoes with some major crunch. You can further help develop a golden color coin by brining the potatoes.
Wash the Potatoes and pierce both ends with a fork 3 times. Place on a baking sheet and into a preheated oven in the middle rack position for 45 minutes at 400 F. Remove and let cool before refrigerating overnight.
The best thing about this recipe is that you can bake all the potatoes you want and then freeze them. Then anytime you are in the mood for Cottage Fries, Hash Browns, or Homemade French Fries, the potatoes are already baked and ready to go. Thaw them, Dice or Slice into any shape or size, and cook.
Handle it with care at first. After they have started to crisp up they will hold together.
Over Baked Potatoes
Make sure that you bake the potatoes until just done or a little under. If they are overcooked the middle will split or separate which will be no good if the split is severe. Because you won’t be able to slice the potatoes and have the slices hold together, they will instead fall apart.
For this reason, it is better to lean on the side of undercooked potatoes which will yield good slices that hold together. These will also be cooked further so undercooking is not really an issue. About 45 minutes at 400 F should be sufficient for medium to large potatoes. Try to pick potatoes that are roughly the same size.
If you find yourself with overcooked potatoes don’t throw them out. These can be placed into a Ziploc bag and frozen to use for small diced hashbrowns, gnocchi, included in bread for potato bread, and more.
Peeling Baked Potatoes
Chop the ends off the Potatoes where they were pierced with a fork and remove any loose skin as this will make it difficult to peel the potatoes. Then peel with a potato peeler.
Skin on Cottage Fries
Cottage Fries can be made with the skin on too. Instead of chopping the ends off and removing loose skin before peeling the potatoes. Just start slicing them into the desired thickness and cook. The below picture is a baked potato refrigerated overnight and sliced, no brining, just straight to the oven.
Freezing Baked Potatoes
Once the Potatoes are baked and left to cool for a bit. They can be wrapped in tin foil and frozen until needed. This is a great way to buy a bag of potatoes just for this purpose to ensure that you always have baked potatoes ready to go for quite a few different dishes. It’s also great for potatoes that will soon expire. Just bake and freeze them. Optionally place the tinfoil-wrapped baked potatoes into a large freezer bag.
How to Make Cottage Fries
Pierce the potato ends three times with a fork. Bake the potatoes in the middle rack position for 45 minutes in a preheated oven at 400 F. Allow them to cool and refrigerate overnight.
Slice the ends of the Baked potatoes where they were pierced with a fork.
Peel off any loose skin as this will make it difficult to peel.
Peel the potatoes
Slice the potatoes into the desired thickness. Optionally Brine the sliced potatoes to add flavor inside.
Fat used for Cottage Fries
Use Lard to fry the potatoes. Optionally use Sunflower Oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Ghee may be used as well.
It’s important to have enough fat to crisp the Cottage Fries. The potatoes will soak up all the fat they can. After cooking for some time the potatoes will not soak up any more fat. Use about 1/4 C – 1/2 C. It’s better to have more than less fat.
This excess fat can be saved for the next time. Just remove the Cottage Fries after they are cooked and let the fat cool. Once the fat in the pan is cooled, pour it into a container and freeze. The next time you make Cottage Fries, take the frozen lard out and place it into the pan to melt while the oven is preheating.
Cottage Fries with Rendered Fat
Rendered Fats can be used too and are exceptionally good when pairing the Cottage Fries with a particular meat. If you don’t quite have enough of the rendered fat, it can be topped up with lard or oil to ensure you get around 1/3 C of fat. Use Rendered Chicken, Beef, or Pork, including Bacon Fat.
Duck Fat if you have it, is excellent with potatoes.
How to Cook Cottage Fries
Once the potatoes are baked, refrigerated, and sliced to the desired size, choose your cook method.
There is a balance between soft inside mash verse the crunchy outside. The more crunchy the less mash. This of course also depends on how thick or thin the slices are. Cook until the desired level of crispness is achieved. Scoop them out and Season with Salt & Pepper.
Cook times will vary depending on how thick or thin the slices are, whether they are brined or not and the type of fat and how much fat is being used. The cook times are just a guideline. In general, cook until crispy, and repeat for the other side.
You will need a smaller size baking pan or casserole dish for potato slices that are thick and a larger baking pan or casserole dish if the potato slices are thin. With the Potato slices laid out flat and side by side. I slice mine at about 1/4 inch – 1/2 inch. Slice thinner or thicker based on your preferences.
Stovetop Cottage Fries
Depending on how much you are doing, you may need to do this in batches. The potatoes will initially stick, that’s okay, after some time they will loosen.
- Add fat to a large skillet over medium heat and place the potato slices in.
- Cook until golden brown on one side and then flip them over to cook again until golden brown.
- Scoop the Cottage Fries out. Season with Salt & Pepper and repeat for more Cottage Fries.
Oven Cottage Fries
This is what makes the oven method so great. Allowing you to cook so much more Cottage Fries. This method is used in the below recipe.
The Potatoes are placed into a large oven tray with the fat and cooked until the desired crispness at 450 F. if you have more than 1 tray worth, you can double up on the trays and place the trays in the oven side by side.
After they have been flipped and are crispy, remove them from the pan and season with Salt & Pepper. Save the fat in the pan for the next time you do Cottage Fries.
Serve immediately as these are best enjoyed fresh out of the oven.
Deep Fried Cottage Fries
Cottage Fries can be brined & deep fried just the same as Homemade French Fries to achieve that Golden Color & Crunch. This is my preferred method as it is quick and easy with no time being wasted flipping each Potato round over with tongs. Although if I have Duck fat or Beef Suet and want to use that to fry the Cottage Fries then the oven is best.
Seasoning Cottage Fries
Treat these the same as you would Fries, seasoning them as soon as they come out of the oil.
The Salt & Pepper Seasoning I use is the same one used for Salt & Pepper Chicken and is listed below.
- 1 Tbl Sea Salt
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp White Pepper
You can opt to brine the Potato slices to really get the salt and other flavors into the potatoes slices using the Homemade French Fries Brine. This also improves the color, yielding a beautiful golden color. With Brined Cottage Fries you may need no seasoning at all or at least very little of it after it has cooked.
Brined Cottage Fries
Brining the Fries for 1 – 2 hours will toughen the exterior, create a whiter color potato that crisps and goldens beautifully, and has seasoning that penetrates inside the potatoes.
The below is Cottage Fries sliced with the skin on, no brine & the right side is cottage fries sliced with the skin off and brined before being cooked.
- Large Casserole Dish or Skillet
- 4-5 Med Potato
- 1/3 C Lard
- To Taste Salt & Pepper
- 4 C Water
- 1/4 C White Vinegar
- 1 Tbl Kosher Salt
Salt & Pepper Blend
- 1 Tbl Sea Salt
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp White Pepper
- Wash and Pierce both ends of each potato with a fork 3 times. Place on a baking sheet and into a preheated oven at 400 F, middle rack position for 45 minutes. Remove and let cool and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 450 F, rack in middle position. Place lard into a casserole dish large enough to fit all the potato slices and place into the oven to melt the lard while the oven preheats.
- Chop the ends off the potatoes and optionally peel them. Slice into slices of the desired size. Optionally Brine the Potatoes for 1 – 2 hours.
- Place them flat into the casserole, and bake for 15 minutes or until Crispy.Flip them over and bake another 10 – 15 minutes or until Crispy. Scoop the Cottage Fries out and Season with Salt & Pepper Blend to serve. Save the fat in the pan to use the next time you make Cottage Fries.