There are countless recipes for oven fries on the internet. Some of them are very simple and just involve tossing some olive oil and salt on the potatoes and roasting them in a hot oven on a baking sheet. Others involve cumbersome steps of soaking, or par-boiling, and then drying the potatoes. I’m sure the soaking or par-boiling methods yields oven fries that are something closer to their deep fried cousins but when I’m putting together a quick dinner, that usually includes breaded chicken strips, I don’t want to give my potatoes wedges a bath. I want simplicity so that I can get on with other things around the house, or even squeeze in a quick workout while dinner cooks and my husband is playing with the kids.
My recipe for oven fries keeps things really simple but because of the addition of one little ingredient, the flavour of these makes everyone who has them ask what it was that I did with them. I add a pinch of garlic powder, a pinch of chili powder, a good amount of salt, some olive oil, but the magic ingredient is 1/2 tsp of white wine vinegar (or red wine vinegar). You may be thinking that a 1/2 tsp is a piddley amount, and it is, but it enhances all the flavours without tasting vinegary at all. It even lifts the flavour of the plain old potato. It is important to measure out the olive oil and vinegar with this recipe because if you free hand it, you may end up with a puddle of oil and vinegar. You just want to give the potatoes a light coating, not a drenching.
The other key to simple oven fries is to cook them at a fairly hot oven for a really long time. Give yourself an hour to get these to the level of crispiness that you want. I cook mine at 425 F which is coincidentally the temperature that the box of chicken fingers I buy cooks at. Hmm. Yeah, I totally planned that. The oven fries take considerably longer to cook than the average chicken finger, which is usually about 20-25 minutes. You can get on with tidying up or trying to figure out how to convince your toddler that he actually does like to eat snap peas and he inexplicably changed his mind about them on Monday before you have to put the chicken fingers in so that everything finishes cooking at the same time.
15 minPrep Time
1 hrCook Time
1 hr, 15 Total Time
- 1 1/2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes (yellow fleshed) - approximately 4 good sized potatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- pinch chili powder
- pinch garlic powder
- Preheat the oven to 425 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper so the oven fries don't stick to the pan.
- Cut the potatoes into wedges or french fry shapes. It doesn't matter what shape you choose just try to keep the size of the pieces consistent. Keep in mind that larger pieces will increase the cooking time.
- Put the cut up potatoes in a large bowl. Measure in the olive oil, and vinegar. Toss the potatoes, vinegar and olive oil with a large spoon to coat well.
- Add in the salt and other seasonings. Toss everything again to coat well. Spread the potatoes evenly on the parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 425 F for approximately an hour or until the oven fries are a nice golden colour. Flip the fries about halfway through cooking so that they can brown on both sides.
Simon Austin says