Homemade french fries—with their crisp exteriors, airy interiors, and earthy, sweet flavor—are a revelation. When you start with fresh potatoes and cook them in peanut oil (which most restaurants don't do), the results are hard to beat. We find that coating the potatoes with a little cornstarch creates a shatteringly crisp crust.
Deep-frying potatoes to make french fries is unique in one regard: the potatoes require two rounds of frying. The first stage, or par-fry, helps the interior of the fries cook through and is done at a lower temperature than the second-stage frying, which browns and crisps the surfaces.
Salt is essential for great french fries—be sure to season the fries right after they come out of the oil, when the hot fat will help the granules adhere.
Total Cooking Time: 90
Preparation Time: 15
Active Cooking Time: 30
Make Ahead: Serve immediately
Yield: 4 servings