Russet potatoes cut into french fry sticks and tossed in homemade buffalo wing sauce then baked to a crispity-crunchity golden brown tinted with a spicy red hue. These aren’t in-your-face, burn-your-tongue-off hot. The heat is more bearable than a traditional hot wing and won’t have you reaching for a glass of milk after every bite. If you’re looking for lip-numbing-hot french fries then I can give you that too. I’m all about choices.
For the best french fries you need to plan a little. Rather than cooking the potatoes straightaway I add a few more steps. Since potatoes are on the Dirty Dozen list for having the most pesticides I start with organic russet potatoes. After cutting them (this is how I cut mine) I soak them in cold water for at least 20 minutes all the way up to an hour or two if I have time.
This will help your french fries crisp up better, especially since we’re baking them, a process that doesn’t always yield the best french fry. I don’t know the exact science behind the soaking but it has something to do with removing the starches. When you drain the potatoes you will see how cloudy the water becomes.
While the fries soak I go to work making the buffalo sauce. It’s ridiculously easy and I find it a lot better tasting than bottled. All you need is your favorite hot sauce – mine is Cholula – a few tablespoons of butter, garlic powder and black pepper. Melt them all together over low heat and you will have most wonderful buffalo wing sauce you can imagine.
Then I move on to the ranch dipping sauce, a spinoff from my buttermilk ranch dressing. I make it a little thicker and cut down on the herbs a bit. You can use a food processor or whisk it all together by hand – mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, garlic, chives and parsley. Stop here or crumble up some of your favorite blue cheese – mine is Roquefort – and mix it into the ranch.
Now we get to the french fry making. After soaking them in water, drain, pat dry on a kitchen towel and toss them into a big bowl with about half of the hot sauce. I let them marinate for about 20 minutes to help the hot sauce permeate them a little.
Only now are we ready to bake them. On a lightly greased baking sheet, the largest one you own but not the heavy-duty aluminum type because they’re too thick. Make sure the fries aren’t crowded or they’ll steam and be soggy. Bake them in two batches if needed, flipping them a little more than halfway through so they turn spotty golden brown on all sides. If you want them super spicy hot you can drizzle the leftover hot sauce right on them, toss them right in it or just go for a little dunking action.
I think these might be the greatest french fries I ever made. I love the golden crunchy edges and the sharp bite of the sauce paired with the cool ranch dunking sauce. I could and would stuff my face with these every single day. If I did I’d have no new recipes and my career as a food blogger would come to a standstill. Instead, I’ll settle on once a week. . .
Russet potatoes are cut into french fry sticks and tossed in homemade buffalo wing sauce before being baked to a crispity-crunchity golden brown with a spicy red hue.
- Fill a large mixing bowl with cold water. Wash, peel(or not if you prefer them with the peel on) and cut the potatoes into fries* - put them in the water and soak at least 20 minutes or a few hours on the counter - don't refrigerate.
- Add all the ingredients to a small saucepan set over low heat. Stir until the butter melts then turn heat up to medium-low and cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat.
- Pulse everything together in a food processor or whisk together until well combined in a small mixing bowl. (Stop here for ranch dip or mix in the blue cheese now to make blue cheese dip). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate.
- Drain the potatoes and place them on a clean kitchen towel. Blot off the excess water. Add them to a large mixing bowl with about half (about 1/3 cup) of the hot sauce. Toss until the potatoes are completely coated and let sit 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease a large, rimmed baking/cookie sheet(not the heavy duty aluminum type) from edge to edge.
- Toss the fries again and then use tongs to place them on the baking sheet so they don't touch each other. If they're crowded bake them in 2 batches. Discard the excess hot sauce left on the bottom of the bowl. Sprinkle the fries with salt. Bake 20 minutes.
- After about 20 minutes remove the pan from the oven and turn the fries over. Bake 10 - 15 more minutes until fries are crispy with golden brown spots and cooked in the center. (Take one out, cool and taste test!) For super spicy fries you can drizzle them with some of the leftover sauce, toss them right in it (they may get a little soggy this way) or dunk them in it.
- Serve with ranch/blue cheese dipping sauce(s) and extra hot sauce, if desired.
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