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How do You Peel Chestnuts ,skin and shell without taking a year to do it...

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When i was in Paris , some friends served us Steamed Chestnuts. I asked how they peeled the shell and skin off of them and they said they bought them already peeled.

does anyone know of the best way to peel Chestnuts because this is so labor Intesive and i am not sure if its worth it but i would love to serve this dish but to peel the hairy skin off each chestnut clean so its just white nut seems so hard......if anyone has already done this successfully i would love to know how.

thanks, sometimes you feel like a nut.....

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  1. I've never done this myself, but did buy cooked and peeled chestnuts from Trader Joe's, and they were quite good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MMRuth

      I've always made an "X" cut with a knife in the chestnut and roasted. They come out easily after the roast.

    2. There's always some labor involved, but this sounds like a possibility:

      http://www.centerforagroforestry.org/...

      For roasting, the easiest method I've discovered I've blogged about (but it still took an hour or so, cooking time included):

      www.denveater.com/denveater/2009/01/t... -pasta-con-marroni-e-brie.html

      1. I roast them after puncturing them on each side, then I slog it out at the dining table with music and a glass of wine. Some yield more readily than others, and some just seem to crumble into dust. I buy about 50% more than I need so that I don't have to fight the really stubborn ones. I can usually peel enough for a turkey stuffing during one Alanis Morrisette CD and two glasses of chardonnay with no black flies in it.

        1. As others have said - make an X on the bottom. I parboil rather than roast the chestnuts and remove the skins while still hot. It's still not easy but keeps your hands busy while watching TV.

          3 Replies
          1. re: alwayscooking

            And only stick a few in the water at a time, so they stay hot.

            Cold chestnuts = skin sticking like superglue.

            1. re: Louise

              I usually avoid single purpose gadgets, but nonetheless bought a "Chestnutter" at Williams Sonoma. It cuts an "x" in the chestnut without risking cutting your hand (I'm a clutz), making the job safe and easy.

              1. re: janeh

                Actually, the method I use that I posted above does not involve cutting an X in the middle. Instead you cut the little top off. I found this to work much better than the X.