Store fresh chestnuts in the refrigerator in a plastic bag with a few
ventilation holes punched in it.
Chestnuts can be cooked by roasting, boiling or steaming.
To roast over an open fire, use a long handled popcorn popper or chestnut
To roast in an oven, try a temperature of 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about
Before roasting, puncture each nut once or twice with an icepick or a knife.
If you fail to do this, pressure from steam building up inside the shells
will cause the nuts to explode, either before or after they come out of the
oven or roaster.
To boil chestnuts, place them in a shallow pan with water that just covers
them. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and boil gently for 15 to 20 minutes.
Drain and partially cool, then remove the kernels using a sharp tine of a table
fork. The longer the nuts cook, the mealier the kernels become and tend to
crumble when removed from the shells. For especially dry chestnuts, soak them
overnight in water before boiling in fresh water.
For steaming, carefully cut fresh, moist chestnuts in half and cook them in
a vegetable steamer over boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Most kernels should
fall out of the shells during cooking. Steamed or boiled nuts can be dipped in
melted butter and salted, if desired, or used in other recipes.
Store cooked chestnuts in tightly sealed jars in the refrigerator for a
month or two or in the freezer for up to a year.