Friday, February 5, 2010

‘The Best’ French Fried Potatoes

Recipe of the Alicia Foundation
Serves 4

Be prepared here: These need an over-night freezing, so you’ve got to start this a day ahead. But trust me, it’s worth the wait!


36 oz Yukon gold potatoes
fry oil (vegetable or canola or peanut), as needed
kosher salt, to taste

Peel the potatoes, slice them into sticks of about 1/2-inch by 1/2-inch by 2 to 4 inches (or whatever the length of the potato).  Keep them submerged under cool water until ready to cook.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the sliced potatoes and adjust the heat so that the water says at the very barest simmer, so that only a few little bubbles escape each second. Be very gently with the potatoes, stirring only occasionally to make sure they don’t stick the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking at a gentle, gentle simmer until the potatoes are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon.  Gently lay the potatoes on a sheet pan covered with two layers of paper towels (to soak up any excess moisture), arranging them in a single layer. Allow the potatoes to rest for about a half hour, in order to dry and cool to room temperature.  Cover the sheet pan with plastic wrap and freeze the potatoes (still laid out over the paper towel-lined sheet pan) overnight.

If you don’t have a deep fryer, prepare a makeshift one. Fill a medium pot with about 4-6 inches of oil (making sure to leave at least another 4-6 inches of room at the top, so that it won’t boil over when you add the potatoes). Using a candy thermometer to measure the temperature, bring the oil to 350°F. Add about a third of the sliced frozen potatoes. Stir once gently with a slotted spoon, just to make sure they don’t stick to each other or the sides of the pan. Keep an eye on the temperature and keep adjusting the heat to maintain the 350°F. Fry until crisp and perfectly golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a bed of paper towels. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Repeat twice more with the remaining two-thirds of potatoes. Serve immediately. Seriously, these fries must be fried at the very last minute!! It’s absolutely key. And everything hinges on this. But have no fear, a meal like this sets itself up perfectly for last-minute frying. As you rest your meat (which is an essential step, for the sake of juiciness), you’ll have the perfect amount of time to fry your fries. What could be more convenient?





  1. Hi, do you slice them and freeze them? When does the freezing happen?

  2. Thanks for asking - I'll update the recipe to make these steps clearer.

    But to answer your questions directly...

    After peeling the potatoes, slice them into sticks about 1/2-inch by 1/2-inch by 2 to 4 inches, or however long the potato is.

    As for the freezing - Once you drain the potatoes from the cooking water, arrange them over a sheet tray (cookie pan) that has been covered with a couple layers of paper towels (to soak up any extra water). Let them sit on this pan for about 1/2 hour to cool off a bit, then cover the whole pan (potatoes, paper towels and all) with plastic wrap, and put right into the freezer. Give them 12 hours or so, at least, to freeze completely.

    Hope this helps!