1 ½ pounds fresh cod (thick filets, also called Captain’s Cut, which are closer to the head), however the tail end can be used if that is the only fish available. Haddock is also an alternative to cod.
2 cups flour, divided
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons malt vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
¼ cup beer (we like a lighter color beer such as Corona, but a dark ale is more traditional)
1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups unsweetened lemon/lime seltzer (this is seltzer water flavored with lemon and lime, not diet lemon lime soda)
2 russet potatoes, skin on and sliced into thick fries or wedges
Canola oil for frying
Cut the cod into strips about 8-10 inches long and about 2 inches around. We bought one large 1 ½ pound filet and cut eight equal pieces. (We cut the filet in half so we had two equal pieces and then cut four strips from each piece). Roll the cod strips in a half cup of flour in a medium bowl. Shake off excess and set aside.
In a medium to large bowl, place the remaining 1 ½ cups of flour, baking soda, salt, pepper, vinegar,
Add the honey, beer, and pickle juice. Beat with a whisk as you pour in the lemon lime seltzer until the batter is the consistency of a light pancake batter. Set aside.
Roll the cut potatoes on paper towels until dry.
Heat oven to 250 degrees.
In a cast iron skillet, fill ¾ full with Canola oil. (Whatever is not used can be strained later and reused for another recipe).
Heat the oil to 325 degrees using a candy thermometer to check the temperature of the oil. Cook the fries in two batches just until cooked but not browned, about four minutes per batch. Set aside on a plate, they will be crisped later.
Bring the oil to 350 degrees.
Dip the floured cod into the batter and with tongs, let drip slightly, then lay the battered fish into the hot oil gently. The fish will rise after a few seconds so don’t drop the whole piece in, just hold half in while the submerged half rises, then let the other half gently slip into the oil. Cook on one side and then flip using tongs or spider; about four to five minutes total. Cook in batches so the temperature of the oil does not drop too far. As each batch cooks, place on a sheet pan and hold in the oven.
Once the last piece is cooked and the temperature of the oil is back up to 350 degree, drop in half the fries and cook until crisp. Place on the pan with fish and salt as they come out of the oil. Cook the second batch of fries and place with the rest on the pan.
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