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Any foolproof way to roast chestnuts ...?

Cheese Boy Dec 3, 2006 02:21 AM

Is there a proper way to roast chestnuts? I've been doing the same routine for years, and a lot of times that inner skin around the chestnut doesn't want to detach itself from the meat. (You know that furry looking one under the nut's hard exterior). I score them, and I roast them using moderate heat (350-375 degrees) for 25 minutes so they don't dry out. Chestnuts take on an unappealing taste when that inner skin cannot be removed. Any suggestions on how to remove that furry skin, or how to properly roast chestnuts would be much appreciated. TIA.

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  1. k
    Kelli2006 RE: Cheese Boy Dec 3, 2006 02:40 AM

    I have removed the skins by rubbing the roasted nuts between a terrycloth towel.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Kelli2006
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      Halloweena RE: Kelli2006 Oct 19, 2007 05:01 PM

      I got tired of burned fingers, cut thumbs, rotten centers after all that work. Now, I buy them in a jar at Wegma's Grocery store. They're by HaddonHouse, cost $7.49 for a 7.4 oz. jar. It's a product of France. Ingred. are whole chestnuts, nothing else. They're PERFECT and delicious just to eat out of the jar. In Wegmas they're in the Baking aisle right above the chocolate chips. DEFINITELY worth the $$$ !!!

    2. Becca Porter RE: Cheese Boy Dec 3, 2006 02:36 PM

      I have found that if the furry skin will not come off after the first roasting, I roast them 10 minutes longer. Then I pinch it off. I have always been able to get it all off, after re-roasting.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Becca Porter
        Cheese Boy RE: Becca Porter Dec 4, 2006 05:04 AM

        Interesting. Re-roasting. Keeping the exterior shell on I assume? Or did you shell them and re-roast with just the furry skin attached? Sounds like all I have to do is increase my cooking time by ten minutes then, right? I hope they don't dry out and get hard though. Ugh. I'm willing to experiment a bit. : )

      2. anna RE: Cheese Boy Dec 4, 2006 05:12 AM

        I have the same problem. I never know how long to roast them. Some people have told me 15 minutes, and I've read at other places that it takes 45-50 minutes. So, I've start off with 15 minutes. Not done? Put them back. Try again in another 10. Still not done? Give it another 10. I keep repeating this process till they're "done". I eventually lost count in how long I've roasted them for.

        1 Reply
        1. re: anna
          Cheese Boy RE: anna Dec 4, 2006 05:19 AM

          What *usually* works is 25-30 minutes on moderate heat. Oven has to be *preheated*.
          That furry skin can be stubborn though - regardless.

        2. Becca Porter RE: Cheese Boy Dec 4, 2006 12:33 PM

          I will remove as much skin as I can before re-roasting. The last time I did this, they did dry out a little, but my oven might have been too high.

          1. Chas RE: Cheese Boy Dec 4, 2006 12:52 PM

            I found that boiling them after scoring cooks them AND makes the inner skin come off easily. But then you lose the roasted taste that comes with roasting. I remember in an older Joy of Cooking a picture of an old fashioned chestnut skin remover (couple of sticks with brushes?)

            1. thegolferbitch RE: Cheese Boy Dec 4, 2006 12:55 PM

              You probably do this anyway, but I've found that if I score them by making an "X" rather than one quick vertical (or horizontal) slit, the inner skin peels more easily. I don't know why this is.

              This is a great day for a Chestnut discussion. Snowing in Boston.

              1. h
                HenryT RE: Cheese Boy Dec 4, 2006 01:00 PM

                Depending on what you're roasting/cooking them for, the microwave is excellent at getting the shell and skin to loosen. I cut an X then zap them five or six at a time for one minute on high. But, I'm usually extracting the meat for chestnut poultry stuffing. For just plain eating, I'm not so sure.

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                  HillJ RE: Cheese Boy Dec 4, 2006 01:06 PM

                  If you don't mind a related question: how long do roasted chestnuts keep? Can they be frozen after roasting for future recipes?

                  1. i
                    Illinois Central RE: Cheese Boy Sep 30, 2007 05:35 PM

                    Hey. I just beat the squirrles to about a quart of chestnuts for the first time. Have copied several ways to fix them. Looking forward to it.

                    1. k
                      kkak97 RE: Cheese Boy Sep 30, 2007 05:40 PM

                      I lived in an historic neigborhood in St. Louis, and we served roasted chesnuts and hot cider at our holiday house tours. We grilled them on a weber grill, throwing a couple of sheets of aluminum foil down first. The scored skin was always very easy to remove and the flavor from the grill was a perfect compliment to the chestnuts. Throw a little salt on them and our neighborhood guests were wowed.

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