Over the weekend I had a real hankering for KFC potato wedges but with temperatures soaring over 90 degrees I didn’t want to leave my comfortable air conditioned cocoon. There was really no other choice but to make my own potato wedges.
I did some Googling and one of the search results that came up was for a recipe from the reliable folks at Cooks Country. Their recipes rarely fail me and this was no exception. In fact, I think I might actually like their version better. KFC potato wedges are yummy but unless you get them right when they come out of the fryer they’re never at their optimum. With homemade wedges, though, you control the cooking and the timing so you’ll always get fresh, well seasoned, piping hot wedges that are crunchy on the outside, tender and fluffy on the inside. I’ve tried many KFC “dupe” recipes before and this is, by far, the best I’ve ever used.
Microwaving the potatoes with some oil and the seasoning mix prior to frying makes all the difference. It ensures that every piece is thoroughly cooked — no partially raw potato wedges — and the flavor penetrates into the center. Deep frying provides the exterior with a thin, crispy crust. Delish!
Note: the recipe calls for kosher salt. If you’re using table salt, just halve the amount (i.e. only use 2 teaspoons instead of 4 teaspoons). And you can also make a buttermilk substitute by thinning out some sour cream with milk. I had neither buttermilk nor lemons, so that’s what I did.
Crunchy Potato Wedges from Cook’s Country
Why this recipe works:
We wanted to create a recipe for fast food-style crunchy potato wedges that we could prepare at home. Microwaving the potatoes in a tightly covered bowl helped them obtain perfectly cooked interiors and nicely crisped exteriors. For our recipe’s coating, adding baking soda to the buttermilk and replacing some of the flour with cornstarch resulted in crunchy, deep golden brown wedges. Finally, seasoning our crunchy potato wedges with a spice blend as they precooked in the microwave, then tossing the wedges in the seasonings when they came out of the oil, produced potatoes that were flavored from the inside out.
If you don’t have buttermilk, substitute 1 cup milk mixed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Let the mixture sit 15 minutes before using.
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 large russet potatoes (about 1 3/4 pounds), scrubbed and cut into 1/4-inch wedges
2 teaspoons onion powder
1/4 cup vegetable oil or peanut oil, plus 3 quarts for frying
- Combine salt, pepper, onion and garlic powders, cayenne, and oregano in small bowl.
- Toss potato wedges with 4 teaspoons spice mixture and 1/4 cup oil in large microwave-safe bowl; cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave on high until potatoes are tender but not falling apart, 7 to 9 minutes, shaking bowl (without removing plastic) to redistribute potatoes halfway through cooking. Slowly remove plastic wrap from bowl (be careful of steam) and drain potatoes. Arrange potatoes on rimmed baking sheet and cool until potatoes firm up, about 10 minutes. (Potatoes can be held at room temperature for up to 2 hours.)
- Heat remaining 3 quarts oil in large Dutch oven over high heat to 340 degrees. Meanwhile, combine flour and cornstarch in medium bowl and whisk buttermilk and baking soda in large bowl. Working in 2 batches, dredge potato wedges in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Dip in buttermilk mixture, allowing excess to drip back into bowl, then coat again in flour mixture. Shake off excess and place on wire rack. (Potatoes can be coated up to 30 minutes in advance.)
- When oil is ready, add half the coated wedges and fry until deep golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer wedges to large bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon spice mixture. Drain wedges on baking sheet lined with paper towels. Return oil to 340 degrees and repeat with second batch of wedges. Serve with extra seasoning on side.
Make Ahead: Our Crunchy Potato Wedges freeze very well. Follow steps 1 through 4, frying each batch of wedges until they are light golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Do not toss with seasoning, and drain and cool potatoes completely on baking sheet lined with paper towels. Freeze wedges on baking sheet until completely frozen, about 2 hours, then transfer potatoes to zipper-lock storage bag for up to 2 months. When ready to eat, heat 3 quarts oil to 340 degrees and cook in 2 batches until deep golden brown, about 3 minutes. Toss with seasonings, drain, and serve.
I highly recommend trying out the recipe for yourself. As always, feel free to tweak the recipe. Reduce or leave out the cayenne if you don’t like spicy foods. Substitute oregano for another herb you prefer. The recipe’s great as is and will definitely be going into my recipe box but I think in the future I may try adding curry powder or cajun seasoning for something a little different. Maybe even sub out the potatoes for sweet potatoes. I already know I love sweet potato fries, so why not sweet potato wedges?