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

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 chestnuts in an oven preheated to 350 degrees and bake approximately 35 minutes (depending on nut size).  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.

Charcoal Grill:  Place chestnuts in a traditional roasting pan/basket or cast-iron skillet and set on the grilling rack.  Roast for approximately 20 minutes, turning often with a metal spatula to promote even cooking and to prevent scorching.  Shells will darken, developing a delicious, smoky flavor.  Chestnuts  are done when they are tender and can easily be pierced with a fork.

Open Fire:  Place chestnuts in a long-handled, metal pan and place on an open fire or hot coals (Note: perforations in traditional chestnut-roasting pans allow for significant flame contact and produce chestnuts with a rich, smoky flavor).  Roast the chestnuts, shaking or turning frequently to promote even cooking and to prevent scorching.  Cooking time will vary with heat level, so check the chestnuts often.  Chestnuts  are done when they are tender and can easily be pierced with a fork.

With all methods, 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