Take chestnuts out of the fridge the day before you roast. This makes the chestnuts sweeter and easier to peel. The chestnuts are sweeter as the starch converts into sugar.
Chestnuts need an intense blast of heat, preferably flame contact. Using a ‘padella per castagne’ (chestnut roasting pan), with a saucepan lid on top over flame, either gas or open fire, gives the best result. The blast of heat makes the nut shrink away from the outer shell and pellicle, the flame contact adds a smoky flavour, the saucepan lid adds a steaming effect helping the nuts to cook evenly.
Chestnuts roasted over an open fire are amazing. All you need is a chestnut roasting pan, good friends and wine.
Enjoy roasted chestnuts on their own or to add extra flavour sauté the roasted peeled chestnuts in a frypan with olive oil, garlic salt, finely chopped chilli and fennel seeds.