Cut the spuds into thick rectangles and reserve in water.
Prepare the poach. In a pot large enough to hold the fries, fill with water, salt, pepper, thyme, Old Bay Seasoning, fennel seed, and any other spice you like.
Add the fries while the poaching liquid is cold and bring to a simmer. Be careful to not boil as that would break apart your fries.
Cook the fries until they are tender, then carefully remove and let cool on a sheet pan.
For the second cook, heat oil to 325° in a large cast-iron pan or deep fryer. Blanch the fries until the steam subsides.
Remove fries and allow to cool completely.
Heat oil to 375° and fry until crispy.
Remove from pan and set on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the oil.
Season with salt.