Tony's Favorite French Fries
Les Halles is famous for their fries. Executive Chef Carlos Llaguno shows us why. Carlos gives a full tutorial on how to make what Anthony Bourdain calls the "best french fries in the world."
Total Prep: Serves 4
4 Idaho potatoes, big, long ones
2 quarts or more peanut oil to fill fryer (or pot)
2 large bowls
Deep fryer or heavy-bottomed pot Skimmer or wire basket (if using a pot)
Step 1: Prep
Fill a large bowl with ice water. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1/2-inch thick sticks. Put them immediately into the bowl of ice water to keep them from oxidizing. Leave them in the water anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight, then rinse well in cold water to take out a large amount of the starch.
Step 2: Blanch
In a deep fryer or heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil to 280°F and cook the potatoes in batches, about 6 to 8 minutes for each batch, until they are soft and their color has paled from opaque white to a semi-translucent white. Do not get impatient and yank them out early. Remove them from the oil with the skimmer or wire basket and spread evenly on the baking sheet. Let them rest at least 15 minutes.
Step 3: Fry
Bring the oil up to 375°F, no hotter, no cooler. Fry the blanched potatoes in batches for 2 to 3 minutes, each, or until they are crispy and golden brown. Remove from the oil with the skimmer or wire basket, shake off the excess oil.
Step 4: Serve
Immediately drop the fries into the other large bowl, which has been lined with a clean, dry towel. Add salt to taste and whip out the towel. Toss the fries around in the bowl and serve while still hot.