Easier French Fries

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: When we wanted a french fry recipe with half the oil and no double frying, we tried submerging the potatoes in cold oil before frying them over high heat until browned. With lower-starch potatoes like Yukon Golds, the result was a crisp exterior and a creamy interior..

NOTE: Flavoring the oil with bacon fat (optional) gives the fries a mild meaty flavor. We prefer peanut oil for frying, but vegetable or canola oil can be substituted. This recipe will not work with sweet potatoes or russets. Serve with dipping sauces (see related recipes), if desired. See "Cutting Potatoes for French Fries," below, for help on cutting even batons.

Ingredients

2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 6 medium), scrubbed, dried, sides squared off, and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch by 1/4-inch batons (see note)
6 cups peanut oil
1/4 cup bacon fat, strained (optional) (see note)

Instructions

1. Combine potatoes, oil, and bacon fat (if using) in large Dutch oven. Cook over high heat until oil has reached rolling boil, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook, without stirring, until potatoes are limp but exteriors are beginning to firm, about 15 minutes.

2. Using tongs, stir potatoes, gently scraping up any that stick, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Using skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer fries to thick paper bag or paper towels. Season with salt and serve immediately.

Note: This very odd recipe seems like the french fries would be extra greasy, but they claim that the fries end up with about half the oil inside them compared to the standard double-fry method.