Sunday, December 13, 2009

Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire (and by open fire, I mean closed oven)

Hello from freezing, icy, snowy, rainy, windy Western New York. I haven’t posted anything in an unprecedented three days, and I'm getting a little shaky, so I was glad that this chestnut video I did for About.com went live.

I've been super busy finishing the final book plan for my American cookbook, and I'm happy to report I've just made my deadline! I'm flying back to San Francisco tomorrow and should have things back to normal soon. In the meantime, here's a quick tutorial for roasting chestnuts – a delicious and very traditional Christmas treat. Enjoy!

Note: This video was shot for About.com, so when you click on the video below, you'll be taken to the recipe page there.


15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is there anything you can compare the flavor/texture of a "roasted" chestnut to, as a hint what to expect?

Besides eliminating the oven, how would this recipe change if they were cooked on an "open fire", such as a barbecue?

Good to hear you met your book plan deadline, and super good to hear you'll be back home soon!

Seth G said...

Hang in there, CJ! And keep us up to date on the book.

Chef John said...

Hard to desc kind of sweet and starchy. Do a google search and you'll see all kinds of grill methods. I've only roasted.

Charlemange said...

I have done chestnuts in the past with the X on them, and have nearly lost my fingernails trying to open them. This year I will try your method.

Wendy B. said...

It sounds a bit like you have a cold in that video. I hope you are not getting sick for Christmas!
I used to work at a place that did the whole "chestnuts roasting over an open fire" thing for Christmas (it was really a grill on the sidewalk). They were really tasty. I think I will try yours!

Fresh Local and Best said...

I'm impressed with your boil and roast method. It definitely produced chestnuts that were easy to peel. I'll try this next time.

Swissidle said...

wow! awesome!

Lucia said...

This reminds me I bought chestnust for ovenroasting, clever me just before leaving on holidays and now I can't find them >_<

Birder said...

This is a perfect idea for an Xmas present!

If I was to present someone with a batch of these for Xmas, would they keep for any length of time? And if so, could they peeled and kept too?

Thanks Chef John, just as you said, this would be something I'd never normally think to prepare myself!

Chris K. said...

"Jack Frost roasting on an open fiiiire...
Chestnusts nipping at your nooooose..."


It makes me wonder if those vendors around Times Square have a special technique for splitting chestnuts. I never bothered to ask, because they're almost as shady as the horse carriage drovers around Central Park.

At least I can try roasting chestnuts at home now, without being tempted by the purchase of a bargain Rolex.

Thanks again Chef John!

Pisaster said...

Great technique! Your way seems to make peeling much easier. I remember reading in Julie Powell's blog about how much of a pain peeling chestnuts were, and Julia Child said that peeling them were a chore, whatever method you adopt. But I am encouraged by your method. I will try it.

Chef John said...

Birder, I don't think they are good leftover. Seem to lose something. Maybe there are some methods for preserving out there, but I don't recommend

hazharpo said...

Since we were snowed in yesterday I decided to use your method to roast some chestnuts that I bought last week. After about 10 minutes in the oven, the kitchen was smelling absolutely wonderful. I let them cool, peeled them and took a bite.............it was full of mold. GAG! I think I might have had a chestnut aversion experience.

Anonymous said...

Great method. Just one question, why do you say acrossT instead of across? Keep up the good work!

aquariusgal said...

Thks for your wonderful recipe! Just tried ur method n I can't believe how easy it is now for me to roast chesnuts! I used to struggle cutting X across the chesnuts , then struggle to peel off the skin. Following ur method - easy to cut, easy to peel n beautiful whole roasted chesnuts in a fraction of the time I previously used to take to roast chesnuts!

Thks Chef John! :)

Susanna,
Perth, Australia