Ok, I've just about had it with these chestnuts. The problem I'm having is getting the inner peel off. I've tried the roasting and boiling techniques but no luck on that inner peel. Is it a special steaming issue?!!
Your advice is very much appreciated!
Oh boy, I really hope you get a lot of answers, I'm in the same boat, but I like chestnuts so well that I just bought a big bag.
I will deal with this annual task tomorrow morning. After removing the husk, there is a bit of a rib between the two lobes that is the best place to begin, with a short paring knife. If you can pry it up and out, you have your best odds. Some will yield into nice halves, others will crumble into powder. Sit down, play a CD, be patient. If I get 1 cup of clean chestnut meat from 1&1/2 pounds of roasted chestnuts, I'm happy.
I just finished trying to peel two dozen of those suckers. I spent 1 1/2 hrs., got maybe 8 whole chestnuts and a lot of crumbled stuff. Oh, well, it's hidden under the braised red cabbage. I had planned to use some precooked ones from TJs, but the packaging looked funky (I admit - I had them in the cupboard from last year) and tossed the whole box. Had some fresh ones in the fridge, so, although it was a pain, I was able to finish the dish.