Seems like there's different advice out there for roasting chestnuts; I've tried many and have settled on a favorite, traditional method that is easy, quick and flavorful. Let's get started!
Step 1: Put a Pot of Water on Stovetop
But I thought we were roasting chestnuts?
We are, but giving them a quick steam bath before ensures the best flavor and texture.
Just fill the pot with about an inch of water and put on High. I added some ocean water that I bottle in the summertime. You probably aren't that weird, so just add some nice sea salt. It helps to bring out the flavor.
Step 2: Cut X's
I don't like to slice them. Chestnuts are really slippery and I have found that the easiest, safest way is to use a serrated, not super-sharp knife, and just saw large x's on.
You do this by grasping them firmly, the chestnut flat-side down(once in a while there won't be an obvious flat side, just hold on to those babies even tighter) and slowly saw along the grain across the top,then across the grain to form an x. The lines should be about an inch or more long and not more than an 1/8 inch deep. It's okay if you cut into the nut a bit(better than cutting into the side of your finger)
Step 3: Preheat Oven, Toss Into Boiling Water
Preheat oven to 425 F.
Toss all cut chestnuts into boiling water, shaking them around.
Let them steam for about 90 seconds.
Step 4: Strain and Roast
Strain chestnuts over sink into a mesh strainer.
You'll notice that they've started to open up a little. So pretty!
Place chestnuts, x side up, onto glass pie plate, or whatever you'd like to roast them in. Place into oven and set the timer for 15 minutes.
Step 5: Undercover
When the 15 minutes is up, take pan out and cover with a dish cloth for an additional 15 minutes. This just steams them a bit while they cool, make the peeling process a bit easier while also retaining more moisture.
Step 6: Peel and Enjoy!
They should be mostly cooled off, although as you peel back the shell some steam will escape.
Smell the aroma!
The texture and taste? Imagine a small, perfectly baked potato, slightly sweet and a little nutty, with just a hint of salt.
Enjoy them while they are warm and an absolute must to serve them with Apple Cider!