Since we’re going there, let’s go all the way. If you don’t happen to have any clarified duck fat around the house, you can find it at Whole Foods, and you won’t regret it. I like fries cut thin, so that when they’re fried crisp they add crunch to your plate while soaking up all the juices. And it’s not like you’re eating a whole basket of these tasty little guys, right? Right?
Peel and cut the potatoes on a mandoline or food processor fitted with the julienne blade. Soak the potatoes in cold water for 20 minutes, then drain. Replace the water and soak for 30 minutes longer. This will rinse away much of the starch, making a better French fry. Drain the potatoes well and blot as dry as possible.
Heat the duck fat to 365°F in a large, heavy-bottomed pot, taking care to fill the pot no more than halfway for safety.
Once the fat has reached 365°F, dip the end of one piece of potato into the fat; if it bubbles immediately, the fat is ready. Drop the whole garlic cloves and rosemary sprigs into the fat. This will release all their wonderful flavors, seasoning not only the fat, but the French fries, too.
Add the potatoes in small batches, so that the fat’s temperature doesn’t drop too much. Fry until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy, 6 to 8 minutes per batch, then remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Season immediately with salt and pepper. Repeat with the remaining potatoes. Before serving, scoop out the fried garlic and rosemary and toss with the fries.
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