Did you know that French fries aren't really French? They originated in Belgium, and were probably first called "French Fries" when American soldiers tasted Belgian frites during WWI, when French was the official language of the Belgian army. And the Belgians still now how to do them best: crispy, salty, thick-cut and with plenty of tasty sauces on the side. Here are a few of our favorite condiments for Belgian fries-after you taste them, you might never use store-bought ketchup again! See 12 surprising sauces for french fries »
RECIPE: Belgian Frites
The secret to fries with a fluffy interior and crisp exterior is double-frying. In Belgium the frying oil of choice is duck fat, but you can use peanut oil if you'd prefer to keep them vegetarian.
7 cups duck fat or peanut oil, for frying
3 cups canola oil
4 large russet potatoes, cut lengthwise into ¼"-thick batons
Kosher salt, to taste
- Heat duck fat and oil in a 6-qt. dutch oven over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 325°. Working in small batches, add potatoes and cook, turning occasionally and maintaining a temperature of 300° (the temperature will drop when you add the potatoes), until pale and tender, 5-6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer fries to a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Remove pot from heat and refrigerate fries for 1 hour.
- Return oil to medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 400°. Working in small batches, add chilled fries to oil and cook, turning occasionally and maintaining a temperature of 375°, until golden brown and crisp, 1-2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer fries to a rack set over a baking sheet; season with salt. Serve hot with a variety of dipping sauces.