Set a large saucepot over medium-high heat. Attach a cooking thermometer to the side of the pot. Then pour 3 inches of olive oil into the pot.
While the oil is heating, peel and chop the potatoes. Place the potato chunks in a colander and rinse well. Then set them out on paper towels to dry. Pat the tops so the potatoes are dry on all sides.
Set a large bowl and the counter and line with paper towels. Then in a small bowl, mix the salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne.
When the oil reaches 300-325 degrees, gently lower a third of the potatoes into the oil, using a skimmer or slotted spoon. Stir and fry for 5-6 minutes, until golden. Remove one chunk and check that the potato is fork-tender in the center. Then remove all the potatoes with the slotted spoon.
Place the fried potatoes in the paper towel lined bowl. Sprinkle one-third of the seasoning mix over the potatoes and toss.
Repeat the frying and seasoning two more times, until all the potatoes are cooked. Serve warm as-is, or with aioli or creamy ranchero sauce.
Use as an appetizer, side dish, in burrito bowls, or Mexican breakfast bowls, or in Patatas nachos!Like most fried foods, these crunchy potato chunks are best when eaten hot and fresh. However, they will keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days if stored in an airtight container. Reheat by baking in a 350 degree oven on a baking sheet for a few minutes, until warmed throughout.Pro Tip: If you have time, cut the potatoes ahead of time and soak them in an ice-water bath for 1-2 hours, so they are extra crispy. Then make sure they are very dry before frying.