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How to Make… Gin Fish & Chips

An amalgamation of one of Britain’s best loved dishes and best loved alcoholic drinks, Manchester House chef Aiden Byrne has created ‘Gin Fish and Chips’.

Celebrating the best of British gins and showcasing their versatility, this recipe uses super premium Liverpool Gin, which is mixed into the fish’s batter, alongside a splash of tonic water and some extra botanicals. Not merely a tired, unpalatable gimmick – this recipe is also ideal for International Gin & Tonic Day taking place this week (19th October).

Ingredients

For the fish

Cod cheeks/cod loin, 500g, trimmed

Plain flour, 200g

Lamb and Watt tonic water, 150ml

Liverpool Gin, 50ml

Salt, a pinch

Fresh yeast, 17g (or 7g dried yeast)

Coriander seeds, 15g

Juniper berries, 5g

Lemon, peel of one (dried)

Vegetable oil, for deep frying

For the chips

Maris Piper potatoes, 1kg, peeled and cut into chips (approx. 2×2×6cm)

Groundnut oil, for deep frying

Sea salt

Method

Place the coriander seeds into a small pan and toast in the oven for 10 minutes on 160C, pound in a pestle and mortar with the dried lemon zest and the juniper berries, and crush to a powder.

Dissolve the fresh yeast with the salt and the tonic water. Whisk in the flour, the crushed botanicals and leave in a covered bowl in a warm area (ideally above an oven to ferment). The batter will begin to bubble and exude the aromas from the botanicals and yeast.

Place the cut chips into a bowl under running water for five minutes to wash the starch off.

Place 2kg cold water in a large saucepan and add the potatoes. Place the pan over a medium heat and simmer until the chips are almost falling apart (approximately 20 to 30 minutes).

Carefully remove the cooked chips and place them on a cooling rack to dry out. Place in the freezer for at least one hour to remove more moisture.

Heat a deep-fat fryer or a deep pan no more than half filled with oil (to a depth of around 10cm) to 130C.

Fry the chips in small batches until a light crust forms (approximately five minutes), remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper.

Put the potatoes on a cooling rack and place in the freezer for at least one more hour.

Heat the vegetable oil to 170C. Coat the cheeks in the batter and deep fry until golden brown and crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Remove the G&T battered cod with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

Meanwhile heat the oil in the deep-fat fryer or deep pan to 180C and fry the chips until golden (approximately seven minutes). Drain and sprinkle with sea salt.

Serve with crushed peas and tartar sauce.

Further information on Liverpool Gin can be found here.

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