A roasted chestnut is tender and sweet. Add a pinch of salt for a different taste.
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Place a chestnut on a "deep" dish towel that is lying flat on a cutting board or countertop. This will allow the chestnut to "sink" into the dish towel and keeps it from rolling while you make the cuts in the next step.
3. Use a sharp knife to cut an X into one side of the chestnut to allow the steam caused by roasting to escape, otherwise, the chestnut will explode.
4. Place each chestnut with the cuts facing up onto the cookie sheet.
5. Roast 20 to 30 minutes or until chestnuts are tender, easy to peel, golden brown in color, and the shells are beginning to open.
6. Peel nuts when they are cool enough to handle, and serve with salt if desired.
* Start checking the chestnuts after twenty minutes for shells that are open and the insides look "golden".
* Use an oven mitt to remove the chestnuts from the cookie sheet.
* Use dry, firm chestnuts; very soft and very hard chestnuts might be rotted.
* An overcooked chestnut is dried out and hard.
* Hot chestnuts peel easier than cold ones.
* Cover the chestnuts with a towel to keep them warm while serving.
* Try a little salt on your chestnuts.
* If the inner skins do not come off easily, the chestnut is either undercooked or overcooked.
Nancy and Tim Bass - Sunburst Tomato