Oh the idea of making roasted chestnuts sounds so nostalgic, so heartwarming. I had no idea that it would be this challenging. Now for most people with a whole set of sharp knives and strong fingers, you probably will not find it as challenging as I did. You can read all about my knife issues on The Food Network’s Community Forum. I only have one good knife, it is much bigger than a pairing knife which is way more ideal for this job. My poor knife is in desperate need of professional sharpening. Alas, the only place in town that does sharpening has closed until mid-January.
Normally you are supposed to score the flat site of the chestnut with an X but I scored any part that I could without causing myself bodily harm. Once they are scored, pre-heat the oven to 375F and roast the chestnuts for 15 minutes until they split:
They look deceivingly easy to remove those shells now, don’t they? You are supposed to remove the shells quickly right after they come out of the oven.
With my tiny kid-like weak fingers there was no way I was going to be able to do that so I took out my handy rolling pin and got cracking.
Not exactly the beautiful sight of perfectly whole chestnut that was in my brain as I started this little holiday foodie journey, LOL. But! I could finally get the chestnuts out of their shells:
Deliciously woodsy in flavour, now I had to figure out what the heck I was going to do with them. First step? Turn them into candied chestnuts!