It goes against conventional wisdom and everything home fryers are taught: Start fries in room-temperature oil, put the pan on the heat, and cook the fries until they’re crisp. The method is attributed to French master chef Joël Robuchon, and it has produced excellent results for a couple of hounds: nongreasy fries and no mess. It’s important to keep your potatoes cut in 3/8-inch-square sticks for the method to work.
scubadoo97 cut, washed, and dried potatoes and put them in a cast iron skillet in peanut oil, then turned the burner on high and watched carefully. The potatoes turned translucent, then browned very evenly; scubadoo97 removed them when they were golden brown, drained them on paper towels, and tossed them with salt. Verdict? Great fries, and a clean process with no splattering or other hazards of deep-frying.
Sunday Cook emphasizes that drying your potatoes well is key to the success of this method: Damp potatoes fell apart in the oil and became inedible and caused lots of splattering. Jeffrey Steingarten discusses this french fry method in greater depth in an essay in his book The Man Who Ate Everything (Vintage, 1998).
Board Link: Fries–Robuchon method