(adapted from Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home by Julia Child and Jacques Pepin)
4 to 5 large baking potatoes
4-5 c. canola oil for frying
Wash and peel potatoes and cut into lengthwise slices 3/8 inch wide. Place in cold water to remove the starch and prevent discoloration.
Drain potatoes before frying and dry thoroughly on paper towels. May be prepared to this point several hours in advance.
First Fry: Make a bed of paper towels on a baking sheet. Heat oil in a large stock pot until it is really hot (faint bubbling may appear). Place about 2 large handfuls of potatoes in the oil and fry, turning potatoes, about 4-5 minutes. They should be soft but not brown. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel to rest. Let stand for 10 minutes or up to 2-3 hours.
Second/Final Frying: Just before serving, heat oil until hot again and fry potatoes for 2-3 more minutes, until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel and continue until all fries are cooked. Salt slightly and serve as soon as possible.
Note: Deep frying can stink up the house. Canola or vegetable oil is the least smelly.