Chestnuts can be roasted, boiled or microwaved.
Score the chestnuts by cutting an X or / across the face of the nut. Make sure you pierce the outer shell; this makes peeling easier and stops the nuts from exploding.
Take care when scoring the chestnuts; chestnut snips make this process easier and safer.
See also our chestnut roasting tips
HOW TO COOK
One of the best ways to enjoy the sweet, creamy nutty flavour of chestnuts is roasted.
In the Oven:
Place the scored chestnuts in a hot oven, 200 to 220 degrees, ideally on a wire tray to allow the heat to circulate under the chestnuts. Place a bowl of water in the oven to stop the nuts from drying out and add some steam. Check the chestnuts after 20 minutes. They should take between 20 and 30 minutes, depending on the nut size. Chestnuts are roasted when the shells start to open and the outer shell is burnt.
Closed door oven grilling, set the oven on 200 degrees fan assisted grilling. Place scored chestnuts on the top shelf in the oven. They should be ready in 30 minutes.
Under the Grill:
Put the griller on the highest setting. Turn the chestnuts once one side is burnt, then burn the other side, should take about 20 minutes.
Place scored chestnuts in a saucepan, cover with cold water. Bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes until the outer shell opens and the flesh is soft.
Places scored chestnuts in a covered microwave safe container. Microwave the chestnuts on high for 3 minutes. Leave the chestnuts covered to steam in the container for 2 minutes, peel while hot.
Wrap the roasted or boiled chestnuts in a tea towel for 5 minutes. This steams the chestnuts making peeling easier.
Chestnuts are best peeled while warm or hot.
To peel, squeeze the nut and remove the outer shell. The inner brown skin should come off at the same time. This inner brown skin, the pellicle, has a bitter taste, so it needs to be removed to reveal the tasty cream coloured chestnut.
Chestnuts are great roasted and enjoyed with a glass of wine.
Or for a tasty snack, heat some olive oil in a frypan and sauté the peeled roasted chestnuts in the olive oil with some garlic salt; you can also add chilli flakes and fennel seeds.
Cooked peeled chestnuts can be stored in the freezer, store 300g of chestnuts in a glad bag in the freezer you can then enjoy them all year round.