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Easy French Fries


  • Fat (a mix of neutral oil, like canola, with olive oil or rendered duck or beef kidney fat, or, if you want, clarified butter)
  • Potatoes, peeled


Mark Bittman has a long post on the NYT Diner's Journal that we wrote this recipe from. There is tremendous variation and even art to the making of french fries, it's probably worth it to head over there and check it out before you embark on your french fry journey. The virtues of this method include: no french fry odor, no special pans or baskets required, no bubbling over or splattering, and the oil will be reusable when you're done (just strain it and refrigerate it). Do note, this process takes about an hour, and you should be ready to eat your meal as soon as the fries are done.

Cut your potatoes into your preferred french fry shape, wider than 3/8 inch. Rinse them and shake off the water (no need to pat dry). Put them in as close to a single layer as you can get in a heavy pan like a straight-sided saute pan. Add room temperature fat to thoroughly cover and turn on the heat to low, don't cover the pan. The oil will start to bubble but, as Mark says, "reassuringly, not alarmingly." Occasionally, use a spatula or a long-handled spoon to make sure they are not sticking and gently shake the pan give the pan a shake, being careful not to squish or otherwise damage the fries between their cooked and crisp stages. When the potatoes are quite tender, raise the heat just a bit. They'll start to crisp and turn golden. Once they look like french fries, drain them and serve them up! Salt them if like salted fries.

From Mark Bittman on the New York Times Diners Journal