Hardee's French Fries copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur
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Hardee's French Fries

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Led by CEO Leonard Rawls, the Hardee's Company opened its first hamburger restaurant in 1961 at the corner of Church Street and Falls Road in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Hardee's has grown steadily through the years, with a number of well-planned acquisitions: first, the purchase of the 200-unit Sandy's chain in 1972, then the buyout of the 650-unit Burger Chef chain in 1983. The company's latest acquisition was the 1990 buyout of the 648 Roy Rogers restaurants. This latest purchase made Hardee's the third largest hamburger chain in the world, just behind McDonald's and Burger King. With that acquisition, the company claimed to be operating close to 3,800 restaurants in forty-one states and nine foreign countries.

Hardee's was the first major hamburger chain to switch to all-vegetable oil to cook its fried products. One of those products is french fries, the most popular item on the Hardee's menu.

Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • 6 cups vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 large russett potatoes, peeled
  • Salt
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    • Instructions

      1. Heat the oil in a deep saucepan over low-medium heat for about 20 minutes.

      2. In a medium bowl, mix the sugar into the water until dissolved.

      3. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, and then into 1/4-inch strips.

      4. Put the potatoes into the sugar solution and soak for 15 minutes.

      5. Remove the potatoes and dry them thoroughly on paper towels.

      6. The right oil temperature is crucial here. To test the oil, fry a couple of potato slices for 6 minutes. Remove and cool, then taste. The fries should not get too dark too soon and should be soft in the middle. If the oil is too hot, turn it down and test again. The fries should not be undercooked, either. If they are, turn up the heat.

      7. When the oil temperature is just right, put all of the potato slices in the oil for 1 minutes. This is the blanching stage.

      8. Take the fries out of the oil and let them cool.

      9. When the fries have cooled, place them into the oil again for 5 minutes, or until golden brown.

      10. Remove from the oil and place on a paper towel-covered plate, or a rack to drain.

      11. Salt to taste.

      Makes 4 to 5 dozen french fries.

      Tidbits: Oil temperature is cruicial in cooking these French fries. Be sure to test the oil on several potato slices before cooking massive portions. And keep in mind that the more you cook at once, the longer your cooking time will be.

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I'm Todd Wilbur,
Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

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