Oven Roasted Chestnuts
There is something about enjoying roasted chestnuts on an Autumn’s afternoon, they just give you that warm, cosy feeling. Kind of like a baked sweet potato, they have a slightly spongy texture with an incredibly sweet and nutty flavour.
Chestnuts are also healthy and nutritious. They are packed with essential antioxidants that support heart health, even after roasting!
~ Chestnuts! Use as many as you like, Make sure they are shiny and firm to the touch
~ Water, The chestnuts are going to get boiled before getting baked!
1. Preheat Oven to 220°C
A very hot oven is key for the chestnut to separate from its woodsy skin. Make sure the oven rack is placed in the middle.
2. Make an Incision: Lay the chestnut flat on your cutting board. With a serrated knife, make a lengthwise slit down the entire middle surface, on the long side. Make sure you hold down the chestnut firmly on the cutting board (be careful not to cut yourself as the outer shell is very slippery).
• You must also make sure that the incision cuts through the inner skin of the chestnuts. The incision will allow the steam to escape from the nut as it is being heated. If the chestnuts are not properly scored, they will explode in the oven
3. Boil the Chestnuts: Place the chestnuts in a pot of cold water. As soon as the water begins to boil, remove the chestnuts with a slotted spoon and place on a shallow baking pan. This quick boil will create the perfect environment for steam to be created once they hit the hot oven.
4. Roasting Chestnuts in Oven: Place the chestnuts with the flat side down, the cut side up in a single layer in your baking pan. Roast in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. This time can vary based on the size of your chestnuts. Give the pan a few shakes throughout the roasting time. You will notice that the shell splits open as they roast. The only way to know if they are cooked through is by eating one of the roasted chestnuts.
5. Wrap them up: Once you have obtained perfectly oven roasted chestnuts, remove from the oven and wrap them in a clean tea towel. Allow the wrapped chestnuts to sit in the towel for about 10-15 minutes. Your perfectly roasted chestnuts are now ready to be served!
~ Chestnuts are easier to remove from their shell when they are warm. If you have leftover chestnuts, you can peel them and refrigerate them for a day or two. Your peeled chestnuts can also be frozen.
~ When purchasing look for chestnuts that;
• have a glossy look;
• are unblemished;
• are firm to the touch and
• feel heavy for their size.
Always try to roast your store bought chestnuts within 2-3 days as the freshness will not last very long, even in the fridge. If you uncover moldy or bad chestnuts, they need to be discarded. Unfortunately, this can only be discovered once they are roasted and removed from the shell.
Did you know?!…
The chestnut tree of One Hundred Horses growing on Mount Etna (the enormous volcano between Messina and Catania on the island of Sicily in Italy) 8km from the volcano’s crater, is the largest and oldest known Chestnut tree in the world ~ It is between 2,000 and 4,000 years old and 190 feet in circumference!