If you prefer to make your own potato chips, these alt-potato chips have many virtues: They have the true flavor of Idaho potatoes, butter and sea salt. You won't have the smell of fried fat hanging in the air, and a serving yields more than double the amount of chips (and about half the fat of an equal weight of commercial deep-fried chips.)

Although I haven't yet tried it, I have no doubt you could replace the butter with two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil or rendered duck or goose fat instead of the butter. Bacon fat would also be swell.

4 servings

    • about 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
    • 1 pound medium Idaho potatoes
    • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Clarify the butter:
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat until it no longer foams and has become clear with solids floating on the top. Skim off the solids and discard. Set aside.

Peel the potatoes and slice them into sixteen of an inch thick rounds on a mandolin or other mechanical slicer like a Benriner. Rinse them in several changes of cold water. Drain well and spin in a salad spinner to remove most of the water and place in a medium bowl. Pat the potatoes dry with paper towels. (Do not leave the potatoes in the water more than five minutes or after you have dried them as they will curl up and won't cook evenly).

With a teaspoon, spoon the clear clarified butter off onto the potatoes, leaving the milky residue in the bottom of the pot. Using a brush, toss the potatoes with the butter making sure each slice is coated. Arrange the slices on a large heavy baking sheet so that they don't touch each other.

Bake on the middle rack of the oven about seven minutes, then check the potatoes. With a metal spatula, remove the potatoes that have become golden brown and crisp and cool on a platter lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt. Continue baking the remaining potato slices up to three minutes longer, checking them frequently and removing the finished ones. The chips will keep several days in a plastic bag or tin.