|Chestnuts roasting on an open fire|
Hearing Nat King Cole's version of 'The Christmas Song' on the radio today got me to thinking about roasting chestnuts in my dutch oven. Many years ago I used to roast them in the fireplace using a special pan with holes in the bottom. Your heavy cast iron dutch oven is another excellent way to prepare them and couldn't be easier. When picking chestnuts, look for smooth, hard skins, any soft spots indicate rot. The hardest part is cutting an X in the outer shell of the chestnut. Be sure to follow this step, otherwise they will be much harder to peel and may even explode while cooking. I roasted a half pound in my 8 inch oven with 8-9 coals on the bottom and the lid completely covered with briquettes. You need a good, hot oven to cook them properly and they are much easier to peel while they are still warm. Their flavor is incomparable, soft, sweet and loaded with vitamin C, celebrate the season with this timeless tradition.
1/2 to 1 pound of good quality chestnuts
With a sturdy knife, carefully cut an X in the flat side of each chestnut.
Place in an even layer in the bottom of your dutch oven.
Roast at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until skins have peeled back and chestnuts are tender when pierced with a knife.
Shake your dutch oven halfway through cooking time to turn chestnuts.
Remove from heat and cool slightly before peeling.
Peel while still warm.
Can be dipped in melted butter and cinnamon if so desired.
|Cut an X in the flat side of each chestnut before roasting|
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