There's no grill involved with these chips, so you can make a batch while your charcoal is heating up.
The small amount of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) called for here really brightens the flavor of the spice mixture. It is available in powdered and crystal form at health-food stores.
- Two 10-ounce bags good-quality unflavored potato chips, such as kettle-style chips
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika (pimenton)
- 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons turbinado sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon coarse sea salt, preferably sel gris
- 1/4 teaspoon ascorbic acid (see headnote)
Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 300 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Spread the chips on the baking sheets. Bake on the upper and lower racks until hot and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the smoked paprika, garlic powder, sugar, salt and ascorbic acid in a small bowl.
As soon as you pull the chips from the oven, pour them into a big bowl (off the heat). Hold a fine-mesh sieve over the bowl, then pour the spice mixture through the sieve so you can evenly sprinkle the hot chips. Toss gently to coat evenly, trying to avoid breaking the chips.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Adapted from "Michael Chiarello's Live Fire: 125 Recipes for Cooking Outdoors," with Ann Krueger Spivack and Claudia Sansone (Chronicle, 2013).
Tested by Darla Cameron.
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