Usually if I see a recipe that describes sugar as its secret ingredient, I run in the opposite direction. I have to admit I was intrigued, though, to find a technique for crispy oven fries that claimed a tbs. of sugar made all the difference in texture. I have blanched my potatoes, sprinkled them with starch… you name it. Sweating them in sugar? Would never even have thought of it.
I did a little research and found that sugar (apparently even better than salt) helps to leach out the excess starch to allow for an extra-crispy fry. I was too curious not to try it out!
The original method that I followed called for the fries to be baked on a sheet covered with greased aluminum foil. I have to disagree with this technique, as it still feel the fries to stick to the foil. My favorite trick? Use parchment paper instead.
My fries didn’t stick at all, and after about 20-25 minutes on a side were perfectly browned and crisp all over. I like to go light on the salt before baking and then sprinkle a little more on right before serving. These wound up being the perfect side to my son’s birthday burger dinner! I don’t think I’ll ever use another method when making homemade fries in the oven.
Extra Crispy Oven Fries
6 organic russet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into fries
1 tbs. organic sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
sea salt, to taste
1 tsp. black pepper
Preheat oven to 425. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place a colander over the sink. Fill with potatoes and sprinkle with sugar. Toss to coat all of the potatoes and allow to sit for 20-23 minutes. Drain excess liquid and pat potatoes dry with a paper towel.
Mix fries in a large Ziploc bag along with olive oil and seasoning. Seal and toss to coat. Spread coated fries on the two prepared baking sheets, making sure they are in an even layer and not overlapping.
Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes, then flip and continue baking for another 20-25 minutes until crisp. Allow to cool slightly before tasting for seasoning and adjusting as needed.