Roasting Chestnuts

    The best chestnuts for roasting are Maroni chestnuts because they are big and meaty. The smaller Castagne chestnuts are better for boiling. They should be firm and shiny brown. Make a little cut in the rounded side of each one, else they will explode when you cook them.

    You might like to invest in a chestnut roasting pan to use on the stove. This resembles a pan with holes in the bottom. People used to use a terracotta baking dish to roast them over hot coals but the modern way is easier.

    Put the chestnuts in the pan and sprinkle water over them. Cover the pan and put it over a moderate heat. Shake it often while the chestnuts are cooking. When the skins have gone black and pulled back from the inner meat, they are done. This will take about seven minutes in total. If they are really burnt, you did not shake the pan often enough.

    You can also put the chestnuts cut side up on a cookie sheet and roast them in the oven at 400 degrees F for twenty minutes or until they are tender. When you can stick a fork through the cut in the shell, they are ready.

    Wrap them in an old towel and squeeze them hard before you serve them. This crushes the skins and makes them easier to peel. Leave them in the towel for five minutes before you unwrap them, for the best results.

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