When baking, microwaving or roasting, firstly cut a shallow cross into the flat side of the shell, this prevents the nut from overheating and bursting while cooking. When boiling, cut the chestnuts in half across the width of the chestnut before cooking.
Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Place prepared chestnuts onto a baking tray and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the shells split open.
Grilling or BBQing
Cut a shallow cross into the flat side of each chestnut. Place chestnuts on a tray under a moderate to hot grill or place directly on a barbecue grill. Cook for approximately 15-20 minutes or until the shells blacken and split open, turning every few minutes.
The nuts can also be roasted on a bonfire by using a long handled metal pan. The nuts will only take about 5-10 minutes to cook over a hot fire or coals and they must be turned frequently to prevent scorching of the shells and meat.
Place prepared chestnuts into a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the flesh is tender and easily separates from the shell.
Place 6 to 8 prepared chestnuts in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate. Cook, uncovered, on full power (850 watts or High) for 2 to 3 minutes or until the flesh is tender. Timing can vary depending on chestnut size and microwave power.
Peel chestnuts while they are still warm because they can sometimes be a little bit tricky to peel when cooled.
Once cooked, remove chestnuts from the heat and wrap in a clean tea towel for 5 to 10 minutes and then quickly peel off the outer brown shell and remove the papery thin skin underneath. If boiled, there’s no need to wrap the chestnuts in a tea towel; simply remove the chestnuts one at a time from the water to peel.
OR – BUY PRE-COOKED AND PEELED
Cooked and peeled chestnuts are available from Chestnut Brae and can also be found in good grocery stores and gourmet shops. Pre-peeled or pre-roasted, they’re sold vacuum-packed. This takes away the extra work and pre-cooked chestnuts are perfectly good and delicious.
Cooked chestnuts can be kept in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 8 month. Refrigerate or freeze what you don’t use immediately.