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Home Cooking 14

Please help troubleshoot my french fries

Christina D | Jan 8, 201409:59 AM

I've read many posts on this board and others regarding fries and I think I know where I went wrong, but would appreciate additional opinions.

My husband was gifted a 10-lb pail of duck fat for his birthday in October. Of course, duck confit and duck fat fries were on the agenda. A French fry cutter from his parents on Christmas sealed the deal.

I tried the fries last weekend and was disappointed with my result. The fries turned out rather limp and lackluster. Some weren't cooked all the way through. They were rather like boardwalk style fries that had been out of the fryer too long.

We used russet potatoes, cut and soaked in ice water for about 1/2 hour before the first fry. We then blotted them with towels until dry.

We used about 2 1/2 quarts of duck fat (previously used in confit) in a cast iron pot. Heated to 325 at med-high heat, then fried the potatoes in small batches. During the first batch of the first fry, the temperature of the fat dropped like a rock (bottomed out at 275 before it started to recover). Keeping the heat cranked on high helped to maintain the temperature on subsequent batches. *All* of the batches started to brown before the potatoes softened.

Once the first fry was finished, cranked the heat to 375, then dropped for the second fry. Again, this was done in small batches. The fries browned quite quickly, so they had a very short stay in the fat. I think this was because they browned prematurely on the first fry.

Based on Dr. Google, it seems as though I should have soaked the potatoes much longer than I did. The browning could be the result of excess starch on the surface, maybe?

As far as the temperature dropping so dramatically, should I let the potatoes come to room temperature before frying? Is there anything different about frying in duck fat vs oil? Could using the fat from the confit have caused an issue?

I intend to take another run at them this weekend (I don't deal with failure well) and would appreciate all the help I could get. Thanks!

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