These are best eaten right away, but can be crisped up later in the oven at 300 degrees F on a foil-lined sheet tray.
- 6-7 large russet potatoes (3-4 pounds), peeled and placed in large bowl of cold water
- 2 medium-large yellow onions
- 3 eggs, beaten
- ¾ Cup flour
- ¼ Cup potato starch (can substitute corn starch if potato starch is unavailable)
- ½ Tablespoon ground pepper
- 2-3 Teaspoons salt
- 1 Teaspoon chili powder
- ½ Teaspoon chipotle powder (optional)
- ½ Teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ Teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
- 8-10 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, stemmed and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 8 Ounces rendered chicken fat (schmaltz)
- Canola oil, for frying
Remove the soaked potatoes, one by one, from the water and grate on the large grate of a box grater. Return the grated potatoes to the water right away to continue soaking — this will prevent the potatoes from turning brown. Continue until all the potatoes are grated.
Grate the onions on same grate, then place in a large bowl. Using your hands, grab handfuls of the grated potato from the bowl with water and wring out well with your hands to remove most of the water. Add the potatoes to the onions, mix together well. You should have a grated mass of onions and potatoes.
Add the eggs, flour, starch, pepper, salt, chili powder, chipotle powder, cumin, paprika, and peppers. Mix very well to combine all ingredients into one uniform mixture.
Heat 3 to 4 ounces of the chicken fat in a heavy skillet (cast iron works great here) over medium-high heat until it turns to a liquid.
Add enough canola oil to raise the fat level to 1½- to 2-inches in the pan.
Using your hands, take out a handful of the latke mixture from the bowl, squeeze lightly to remove excess liquid, and then drop into the hot oil. Fill the pan with latkes and fry in batches — do not crowd pan, the latkes should always have at least an inch between them on all sides. Turn once golden and fry other side, about 3 minutes per side. They should be crispy on the outside and creamy in the center. Transfer to a cookie sheet lined with paper towels to drain.
After half the mixture is fried, wipe out the pan and add the remaining chicken fat and more canola oil and fry the rest of the mixture as before.