For my whole life, my dad has made the best French fries. It wasn't until June of this year that I asked him for some pointers. His email to me follows:
Get good potatoes first of all...i recommend white or russet "potates"
You don't need to peel but can if you want. If you don't you should give them a scrubbing with a scratchy thing under running water.
Then slice as you want.
I STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you then put the sliced potatoes in a pot of water to soak for a couple of minutes...this removes a lot of starch from the potatoes as you will see by the water becoming cloudy.
Then dry them and they are ready to cook.
You should then heat cooking oil and place them in the oil for about 10 minutes. You will be able to tell when they are done...they should be firm and cooked through...if you need to warm them, place in the oven while cooking the next batch...i sometimes would place batch #1 back in the oil for a minute before serving to make them juicy and hot again..
They are truly better than most restaurant fries, and it gave me a real feeling of badassery to make these. I like mine with a sprinkle of cayenne and a bunch of salt.
Also, you can soak the cut potatoes for several hours. It will make them even crispier. You can save your used oil to reuse, I put mine in an old empty plastic coffee can and stick it in the fridge.
I like how dad included "Good luck," like "good luck, don't burn the house down." Or "good luck, I hope you have eyebrows the next time I see you." What a guy.