PREPARING FRESH CHESTNUTS

Chestnuts should be cooked and peeled before eating.  Begin by rinsing chestnuts in cool, running water to clean, then choose a cooking method best suited to your needs and intended use. 

Roasting Chestnuts

Chinese chestnuts are much denser than European & American chestnuts; therefore more time is needed to break them down and release all of their flavors. That said, low and slow is the name of the game when it comes to cooking Chinese chestnuts!

 

Score chestnuts with a sharp knife to prevent bursting during the cooking process. Holding the chestnut firmly with the flat side down, carefully score the rounded side of the outer shell by cutting an arc from one side to the other, cutting about 1/8" deep. 

Oven: Arrange the chestnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet or roasting pan.  Place them in an oven preheated to 240 degrees and bake for at least one hour (more for the larger nuts).  As chestnuts roast, outer skins will peel back, exposing the golden meat inside.  Check chestnuts and remove them from the oven when they are tender and can easily be pierced with a fork.

Wood Fire:  Place chestnuts in a long-handled, metal pan and lay on hot coals.  Roast the chestnuts, shaking or turning frequently to promote even cooking and prevent scorching. Cooking time will vary with heat level, so check chestnuts often. Chestnuts  are done when they are tender and can easily be pierced with a fork.

Cool chestnuts slightly after cooking then remove outer skins and inner membranes while the nuts are still warm.

Boiling Chestnuts

Using a heavy knife or cleaver, cut chestnuts in half and place in boiling water. Boil 10 minutes and drain immediately; peel the chestnuts as soon as they can safely be handled, removing both the outer skins and inner membranes (pellicles).

Note: Reduce boiling time to 6 -10 minutes if chestnuts will be used in a baked dish with additional cooking time.

Microwaving Chestnuts

Score chestnuts with a sharp knife to prevent bursting during the cooking process. Holding the chestnut firmly with the flat side down, carefully score the rounded side of the outer shell by cutting an arc from one side to the other, cutting about 1/8" deep. 

In a microwave safe dish, arrange a small number of nuts (12 or less) in a single layer and cover them with a wet paper towel to maintain moisture.  Cook 1 to 2 minutes.  Chestnuts are done when they are tender and can easily be pierced with a fork.

Cool chestnuts slightly, then remove the outer skins and inner membranes (pellicles) while the nuts are still warm. 

 

Now that your chestnuts are cooked and shelled, they are ready to be eaten and enjoyed or used in your favorite recipes!

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VALLEY CHESTNUTS

18335 Irish Ridge Road

Sperry, IA 52650