How to roast chestnuts.

I’m 58, and I’ve never had roaster chestnuts. My family only used them for decoration. I feel kinda left out. Midlife* crisis and all. :wink:
So how does one go about roasting them fat little suckers? In or on a stove, an open fire is impractical (I’m too lazy). Do I just go to the supermarket and grab a handful, or are there some specific qualities to look for.
*Before preview, I typed that as “mislife”. :stuck_out_tongue:

Put a single layer of them on a cookie sheet and stick it in a 350 F oven for about 45 minutes. Get ones that are a nice even reddish brown. That’s really it. It’s ridiculously easy.

When buying them in bulk, heft a few in your hand. If they feel heavy for their size you know they’re not dried out or moldy. When you get them home, wash them in a container of water, discard the ones that float. With a small paring knife, cut an “X” in the flat side of each chestnut. As cooking progresses the cuts will open up, making shelling easier. Parboil them for 5 minutes in a pot of water. Spread them in a roasting pan, and place in a 350 degree oven. Should be done in about 10 minutes, shake the pan every two or three minutes to get an even roast throughout. Serve immediately. Leftovers can be put in stuffings, or made into a pastry/cake filling. I suppose I should’ve prefaced this by saying that they’re hardly worth the trouble, as they’re never as tasty as they should be. The imported chestnuts just can’t compare in flavor with the American variety. Unfortunately, because of blight about a century ago, American chestnuts were all but wiped out. Isolated stands remain, and there is a concerted effort on the part of plant science people to somehow bring back the American chestnut in all it’s glory. I understand small crops of American chestnuts are irregularly offered for sale. Buy these if available. Good luck, and don’t forget to sing the song.

You might add: don’t stand with the oven door open and stare into the oven. These suckers will explode without warning even if pierced prior to roasting.

Good point. Though in all the times I’ve done them, I’ve only had a few actually do it.

Cool. :cool: Thanks.
After they cook, you just eat 'em up, while warm? Salt?

They’re best warm, IMO. Salt is optional. I prefer them without.

That’s the only way I’ve ever roasted them. But this year it turns out I’m in a place with a fireplace, so roasting the chesnuts on it would seem appropriate. How’s that normally done? On a spit? Wrapped in foil and buried in embers? Something altogether different?

You need one of these. Check out a local fireplace dealer.

Once I bought chestnuts roasted on the street in Florence in December. Best handful of chestnuts I’ve ever had.

You can also cut an X in the flat side and cook them in a cast-iron frying pan that you were going to re-season anyway–either on the stovetop, in the oven, or over the fire.

Shell them while they’re warm–there’s a fuzzy layer between the meat and the shell that’s hard to remove if they’ve cooled.

Best eating:

  1. out of hand, while very hot (must say “ow, ow, ow” during this process)
  2. in chestnut stuffing. Mmmmm.