What's the Best Way to Peel and Cook Chestnuts?

Feeling inspired by the old Christmas song? Chestnuts are easy enough to roast yourself, even without an open fire.

Here are two good methods:

  1. Roasting: To produce one pound of chestnuts to eat you will need one and a half pounds of raw chestnuts. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a sharp knife, make an X on the flat side of the chestnut. Put the chestnuts in a large bowl and add water to cover them an inch deep. Let soak for 30 minutes to an hour. Drain the water and pat the chestnuts dry. Place the chestnuts on a baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and peel when they are slightly cooled.
  2. Boiling: Here, too, use one and a half pounds of chestnuts for one pound of chestnut meat. The same basic method is used: score, or kark, the flat side of the chestnut with a knife. Then place the nuts in boiling water and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the water, let cool slightly and peel.

The roasting method produces more flavor and a nicer texture, but both work well.

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