How to Pan or Oven Roasted Chestnuts

How to Pan or Oven Roasted Chestnuts

Ingredients

– 2 pounds chestnuts

Directions for Pan Roasting

  1. Using a wet paper towel, wipe the chestnuts to clean them.
  2. With a sharp knife (paring knives usually work best), on at least one side of each chestnut, cut an incision through and across the center of the shell. Be careful not to cut through to the nut and not to cut yourself.
  3. Place the cleaned and cut chestnuts in a large stainless steel or cast iron pan.
  4. Cover the pan and cook them over medium high heat for 10 minutes. Shake the pan occasionally to jostle the chestnuts.
  5. After 10 minutes, lower the heat to low and continue to cook the chestnuts for another 15 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the shells have opened up and the chestnuts inside appear a golden brown and are soft.
  6. Line a bowl with a clean dish towel or several paper towels. Once the chestnuts have finished cooking, remove them from the heat and place them in the lined bowel. Fold the ends of the towel or paper towels over the hot chestnuts to keep them warm.
  7. Let the chestnuts cool for about 5 – 10 minutes prior to serving.

Directions for Oven Roasting

  1. Place the chestnuts in a large bowl and fill the bowl with fresh water to cover the chestnuts. Set them aside to soak for 2 – 3 hours.
  2. When you are ready to oven roast the chestnuts, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Position an oven rack on the lowest rung of the oven.
  3. Drain the water from the chestnuts and lightly wipe them to remove any excess water from the shells.
  4. With a sharp knife (paring knives usually work best), on at least one side of each chestnut, cut an incision through and across the center of the shell. Be careful not to cut through to the nut and not to cut yourself.
  5. Place the soaked and cut chestnuts on an aluminum or stainless steel baking sheet (nonstick baking sheets are not recommended because the shells of the chestnuts could scratch the nonstick coating).
  6. Put the baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven and bake for 35 – 40 minutes, tossing the chestnuts every 10 minutes.
  7. The chestnuts are ready when the shells have opened up and the chestnuts inside appear a golden brown and are soft.
  8. Once the chestnuts have finished cooking, remove them from the oven and place them a bowl lined with a clean dish towel or several paper towels. Fold the ends of the towel or paper towels over the hot chestnuts to keep them warm.
  9. Let the chestnuts cool for about 5 – 10 minutes prior to serving.

Notes

– To select chestnuts, make sure they feel heavy in your hand when you handle them. A light chestnut is too dry and will not soften when cooked. Make sure the shells are smooth and deeply brown with no holes.

– To eat the chestnuts, remove the shell and the fuzzy, paper-like brown layer from the chestnut. A well cooked chestnut will be soft and slightly golden all the way to the center of the nut. It should smell nutty and lightly sweet.

– It is very difficult to tell if a chestnut is bad just by looking at the shell. You’ll only really know once you open it up. If the chestnut is black or dark brown all the way through or if it has an off-putting smell, do not eat it.

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