The secret is parboiling: Just drop the cut french fries into a large kettle of boiling water. When the water returns to a boil, cook the potato sticks for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately plunge the taters into cold water. Drain them well, pat them dry with paper towels, and then follow the rest of your recipe as written.
Using a flavorful olive oil to coat the potatoes will kick up their flavor, and sprinkling them lightly with extra-fine salt will make them taste more like fast food fries.