I've been making oven fries for so long and I've made them so many different ways that I was surprised that I hadn't blogged about every single one of them! Maybe, though, that was because I was waiting for a really great recipe to come along and come along it has. I've used this method countless times now and every time it produces oven fries that are super crisp on the outside with pillow-y, light potato centers. This is one of the most consistently good recipes that I've ever made and yes, I realize that is a pretty bold statement to be making.
You start by soaking the sliced potatoes in water which removes some of the surface sugar and then improves the smoothness of the interior of the potato. Once the potatoes have been dried off, you cover them on a sheet pan and cook them at a high temperature for about 5 minutes before removing the foil covering and roasting them until they are crisp and golden.
These might take a few extra minutes and have a few extra steps but they are always worth the wait. I always make more than we actually need but somehow we never have leftovers. Hmm...funny how that works out. ;)
3 russet potatoes (~8 oz. each), washed and cut lengthwise into 10-12 even wedges
4 tbsp. vegetable oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Place an oven rack in the lowest position and heat oven to 475°. Line a baking sheet with several layers of paper towels; set aside.
2. Place the cut potatoes in a large bowl and cover with water. Let sit for 10 minutes. While potatoes are soaking, spread 3 tablespoons of the oil onto another large baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; set aside.
3. Drain the potatoes and dry well on paper towels. Rinse and dry out the bowl that held the potatoes and then return the dry potatoes to the bowl and toss with remaining tablespoon of oil. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on oiled baking sheet. Cover very tightly with foil and bake for 5 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 15-20 minutes, until bottoms of potatoes are beginning to brown. Rotate pan halfway through baking.
4. Once potatoes begin to brown on the bottoms, carefully flip the potatoes over and continue baking another 5-15, until desired crispness is reached.
5. Transfer cooked potatoes to paper towel lined baking sheet and drain excess oil. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
slightly adapted from The New Best Recipe from the editors of Cook's Illustrated