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Video:How to Roast Chestnuts

with John Mitzewich

Roasted chestnuts are a delicious holiday tradition, but most people have no idea how to cook them. Here you'll see an easy and safe method for prepping and roasting fresh chestnuts.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Roast Chestnuts

Hi, I'm Chef John Mitzewich for About.com. Today I'm going to show you how to do roasted chestnuts. Here we go, I have a pound of fresh chestnuts. They are delicious but covered with a hard shell. So, before we roast them we have to cut into the shell.

Prepare the Chestnuts for Roasting

Most demos and recipes have you make an X on the shell, which I think is dangerous and unnecessary. I also don't like to use a straight-edged knife on these. It's too slippery and dangerous.

I like to use a nice sharp bread knife and I just make one cut across the surface of the rounded side. So I don't apply much pressure until I feel the knife break the surface. Then I apply a little more pressure and make one slash all the way across the surface.

Make sure you're down to where you can see the nut inside the shell. So here we go again - put the pointy end into your thumb and hold it between your two fingers like this. Start it with the blade of the knife and when you feel it cutting in, apply more pressure and slash all the way across. Check to make sure you went all the way through the shell.

Simmer the Chestnuts

Once you've prepped all the chestnuts, put them into a saucepan and add enough cold water to cover and a big pinch of salt. We're going to bring that up to a simmer. As soon as it simmers, we're going to fish those out with a strainer and put them in any kind of heatproof pan.

Bake the Chestnuts

Those are going to go in a hot over, 425 degrees F. for 15 minutes. You can see when they come out, the shell has kind of split open a little more and you can see the delicious chestnuts inside.

Steam the Chestnuts

What I like to do is cover them with a towel for 15 minutes to steam a little bit. I think it makes it easier to peel. So after 15 minutes, take off the towel and there you go - an amazingly delicious, beautiful holiday classic, roasted chestnuts.

Similar to the guests at your holiday get-together, some chestnuts will be easier to deal with than others. Some come out of the shells easily and some don't. You didn't do anything wrong, it's just the chestnut. Just use your fingernail to peel off the shell.

If you've never tried roasted chestnuts because you weren't sure how to do them, this is a really easy simple method. I hope you give this a try. Enjoy!
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