This easy french fries recipe from Joel Robuchon is made with potatoes, salt, and oil and uses a surprising technique: frying at a low temperature for up to an hour.
This easy french fries recipe flagrantly flies in the face of much of what we thought we knew regarding the perfect technique for frying french fries, yet it works dangerously well. Like, let’s-cancel-our-plans-for-the-rest-of-the-day-and-fry-another-batch well. It’s a “cold fat” method popularized by Joël Robuchon, and by “cold fat,” we mean immersing potatoes in oil and then gradually heating the oil to the frying temperature, which effectively avoids oil splattering.
According to author Timothy Ferriss, this method also uses less fat than usual, which obviously is a boon. And, seeing as the lower temps “don’t damage fatty-acid chains as higher temps do,” says Ferriss, you can reuse the oil to fry that second (and third) batch. The only downside? This technique takes far longer to fry your fries. But after tasting these, we gotta say, patience has never before seemed such a virtue.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Easy French Fries
- Quick Glance
- 15 M
- 2 H
- Serves 3 to 4
- 4 russet potatoes or sweet potatoes (2 pounds)
- Sea salt, to taste
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- Coconut oil or canola oil, for frying
- 1. Peel the 4 potatoes and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick sticks or slabs. Toss in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover. Stir in a pinch salt and the vinegar and soak for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
- 2. Drain the potatoes and then pat them as dry as possible. Put the potatoes in a Dutch oven or deep pot and pour in enough oil to cover them. Place over medium-low heat and cook until the potatoes are very tender, about 45 minutes. (You’ll see bubbles after about 15 minutes, but not the splattering kind.)
- 3. Raise the heat to medium and cook, stirring gently if you’d like, until the fries are nicely browned, another 15 to 30 minutes.
- 4. Place a folded paper bag or several layers of paper towels near the stovetop. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the fries from the oil, letting as much of the oil drip back into the pot as possible, then spread the fries on the paper bag or towels to drain. Season with salt while still hot and serve immediately.
- Quicker Fried Fries
- Here we’ll be using the more traditional approach of frying the potatoes twice, first at a lower temperature to cook the inside, then at a higher temperature to create a crisp, golden exterior.
- 1. Follow the above recipe through the middle of step 2. In a deep fryer, Dutch oven, or deep, wide pot, bring the fat or oil to 320°F (160°C) using a deep-fry or candy thermometer. Carefully add the potatoes and stir gently to separate them. (If you’re using bear fat, don’t worry: The resulting fries will taste much better than the warm bear fat smells.) If you’re using a stovetop rather than a deep-fryer, you will very likely overshoot the desired temperature, which can be tricky to fine-tune when it comes to hot fat or oil. Keep checking the temperature. Also, things can get splatterific if you haven’t dried the food properly. If this happens, minimize fat or oil shrapnel by flipping a colander upside down over the pot as a makeshift splatter guard. The potatoes are ready when they’re half-cooked, still pale, and a little floppy, 7 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, spread the fries on the paper bag or towels to drain.
- 2. Next, heat the fat or oil to 360°F (182°C). Working in small batches, return the fries to the fat or oil and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Dump on the paper bag or towels. Season with salt while still hot and let cool to an edible temperature. Slather the fries all over your hands and face.
- Baked Fries
- If frying just ain’t your thang, baked fries are your friend. Try this approach. It also works with sweet potatoes.
- 1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- 2. Cut the potatoes into thin wedges. Toss the slices with olive oil and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. For even more flavor, create a mixture of 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons ground cumin (this is the key), 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon (just remember the “3 c’s”). Douse each wedge with the mixture before placing it on the baking sheet, or—my preference—put them on the baking sheet and paint this mixture on all of them. Thirty minutes in the oven and they’re done. Season with salt while still hot and serve immediately.
- Fries Made With A Fancier Fat
- Author Timothy Ferriss, in his rendition of Chef Robuchon’s fries, waxes poetic about using bear fat for frying. Yes, bear fat. He explains that it’s horrible to the nose but tastes absolutely amazing with certain foods. Such as fries. Bear fat fiends, you know who you are. Everyone else, try rendered duck fat or beef tallow for equally memorable fries.