Traditional methods of making French fries involve rinsing, soaking, double frying, and then draining and salting them not an easy process. We wanted a recipe for crispy fries with a tender interior and lots of potato flavor, but without all the fuss. The key was to submerge the potatoes in room-temperature oil before frying them over high heat until browned. This gave the potatoes’ interiors an opportunity to soften and cook through before the exteriors started to crisp. Starchy russets turned leathery with the longer cooking time. With lower-starch Yukon Golds, however, the result was a crisp exterior and a creamy interior. The fries stuck to the bottom of the pot at first, but letting the potatoes cook in the oil for 20 minutes before stirring gave them enough time to form a crust that would protect them. Thinner fries were also less likely to stick. We prefer peanut oil for frying, but vegetable or canola oil can be substituted. This recipe will not work with sweet potatoes or russets.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- Total Time: 45 Minutes
- 2½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled
- 6 cups peanut or vegetable oil
- Kosher salt
- Using chef’s knife, square off sides of potatoes. Cut potatoes lengthwise into ¼-inch planks, then slice each plank into ¼-inch-thick fries.
- Line rimmed baking sheet with triple layer of paper towels. Combine potatoes and oil in large Dutch oven. Cook over high heat until oil has reached rolling boil, about 5 minutes. Once boiling, continue to cook, without stirring, until potatoes are limp but exteriors are beginning to firm, about 15 minutes.
- Using tongs, stir potatoes, gently scraping up any that stick, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp, 5 to 10 minutes. Using wire skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer fries to prepared sheet. Season with salt and serve.