Oven Fries

I love fried foods, on occasion. Yet, I hate frying anything. Excuse my language, but frying is a pain in the ass. You have to haul out your big pot,...

I love fried foods, on occasion. Yet, I hate frying anything. Excuse my language, but frying is a pain in the ass. You have to haul out your big pot, a bottle of oil, and a thermometer and just forget about your kitchen ever looking clean again. Not to mention your house will smell like KFC for the next week. And, it can be dangerous. I’ll stick with my oven if I can. That’s why when I saw this recipe for oven fries over at my friend Tracey’s gorgeous blog, I knew I would have to try it out. The recipe did not disappoint. Dip in some aioli, creole dipping sauce, or homemade ketchup and you’ve got yourself a restaurant-quality, crave-worthy side dish or snack. 

Recipe Rundown
Taste: Additively rich and salty.
Texture: Crisssssssp.      
Ease: The ingredient list couldn’t be more simple. The method, however, is a little strange (still not difficult). Just trust the recipe and you’ll get perfectly crisp fries. 
Appearance: Golden brown and crisp, just begging to be eaten.
Pros: Makes nearly perfect thick-cut fries with no vat of oil and no mess.     
Cons: None!
Would I make this again? Yes. Next time I might add some extra seasonings.

Oven Fries
from America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook via Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

  • 3 russet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • kosher salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 475 F with a rack in the lowest position.

To cut the potatoes into wedges:  Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and then cut each of those halves in half lengthwise so you end up with each potato quartered.  Slice each quarter into 2 or 3 wedges (lengthwise again), depending on how thick you want your fries.

Add all of the wedges to a large bowl and cover with hot water.  Set aside for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, grab a large rimmed baking sheet and coat it with 1/4 cup of the canola oil.  Tilt the pan to ensure the oil is spread in an even layer.  Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper over the oil evenly.

Drain the potatoes and spread them over a dishtowel or layer of paper towels.  Dry them thoroughly.  Dry the bowl the potatoes were soaking in, and then add the wedges back to the bowl.  Toss them with the remaining teaspoon of canola oil.  Transfer the wedges to the prepared baking sheet and spread them in a single layer.  Cover the pan with foil.

Bake for 5 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking for 15-20 minutes, or until the bottoms of the potatoes are golden brown.  Remove the pan from the oven and flip each of the wedges over.  Return to the oven and bake for 7-10 minutes longer, or until golden and crisp.  Drain the fries on a paper towel-lined plate then season with salt and pepper to taste.

6 Responses to “Oven Fries”

  1. #
    Maria — April 6, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    One of my favorites!

  2. #
    Maris — April 6, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    How easy and delicious!

  3. #
    Matt — April 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    I like both fried and baked potatoes, but when I fry them, I usually use a small pan, not much oil, and I don't even own a thermometer(well, I do, but it isn't where I'm living at the moment). As long as you keep an eye on the oil, it doesn't have to be dangerous. If you make your chips(fries) thick, they absorb less oil per potato than thin chips(fries). If people ask how I know when to put my chips(fries) in, I tell them I just guess, but really when the oil starts moving from the heat, I'll test it every so often until it bubbles when I dip one in. using a smaller pan with less oil means I can only do small batches at once, but that has never stopped me.

    When I bake them, I usually add some salt and pepper, and occasionally some chilli powder for a little extra something. I tend not to dip them in anything, just drizzle some vinegar over them. Although, I could imagine dipping them in some sour cream/cream cheese mixed with chives, or perhaps a spicy ketchup…

  4. #
    Tracey — April 6, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    I'm glad you enjoyed them Tessa! They're definitely a favorite here. I hate frying too, mostly the clean-up…trying to pour that big pot of oil into another container never ends well.

  5. #
    Mike — April 7, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    I'm with you – when a recipe says to fry something I just skip it. It's just such a pain and so wasteful and fried foods are always too fatty tasting. Your baked fries, on the other hand, look great!

  6. #
    Jenelle — April 7, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    I'm going to try this recipe today but with a sweet potato, I really hope the results will be the same!

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