Due to the bitter cold and the strong wind I reminiscence over the evenings during Christmas that we were roasting chestnuts in the fire. We would gather all around the sparkling fire and we would start discussions and open wine bottles, preparing the terrain (and the charcoals) for the show – the roasting chestnuts big time! Oh, we may have been roasting even a kilo per night, so wonderful.
If you do not have access to a fireplace or an open fire but want to revive such moments too, you can use your gas stove (it will just take a little more time). And you can always resort to the boiling-chestnuts solution, which I assure you that will fill your home with the same delicious magical smells.
If you roast the chestnuts on a fire or charcoals (watch them and turn them in time so they don’t burn), use a pan made of tin. If you find also one that has holes in the bottom it’s exactly for this job. You can also use a piece of tinned steel or an opened oil tin etc. Be cautious not to roast the chestnuts on aluminum as it is toxic. If you boil chestnuts, you can use any of your pots obviously.
And now, could I have your undivided attention please? All the magic of baking or boiling lies in the way you prepare (a.k.a. cut) the chestnuts. For the roasting you MUST cut them otherwise they will explode. The best way to do so is to cut them lengthwise in their ass ( at the base of the chestnut) and to extend the cut sidewise. When they are done they will open with only one sweeping move taking along them the bitter inner skin and leaving behind only the gold –deliciouuuuuus- fruit. Say goodbye to all this wasted cleaning time. For the boiled ones, you have to cut a cross at their base to facilitate the passage of more water during the boiling so that the chestnut swells enough.
During all my childhood the chestnuts preparation during the cold months was a rite and a family tradition we loved and we looked forward to. And we keep this sweet tradition until today. Do you also love roasting or boiling chestnuts with your loved ones? Do you have any tips and tricks you want to share too? I wish you the most cozy night tonight. xoxo