CURING FRESH CHESTNUTS
To develop their rich, sweet flavor, chestnuts must be cured. Remove them from the refrigerator a few days before use and spread them out on a shallow tray, allowing them to dry slowly at room temperature. Take care to avoid direct sunlight, heat, or forced air.
As chestnuts cure, starches covert to sugar and kernels shrink away from the shells slightly. A chestnut is properly cured when a slight "give" is detected between the shell and the meat upon squeezing. More curing time is needed if chestnuts are still rigid when squeezed. Once cured, chestnuts should be used promptly to prevent spoiling.