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Boiled chestnuts: Who said they have to be roasting on an open fire?

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Although chestnuts are traditionally roasted over an open fire, or at least they were. Today we roast them in the oven. Preparing chestnuts reminds us of the Christmas song and many of us probably sing it out loud annoying anyone closing in on our space in the kitchen while the chestnuts are being cooked.

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Well, another favorite and old-time version of cooking chestnuts is to boil them. In the southern and Gulf states residents love to boil peanuts. This is similar in thought but nothing at all the same in taste, texture or the process. So try out some boiled chestnuts this year and stuff the oven with something else on the holiday menu list.


  • 1 pound chestnuts in the shell


  1. Using the tip of a sharp paring knife cut an “X” shape into the flat side of each chestnut.
  2. Drop the chestnuts into a pot of boiling water.
  3. Bring the water back up to a boil with the chestnuts in the pot and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat off and with a slotted spoon remove four chestnuts at a time from the pot of hot water.
  5. Carefully remove the peel or softened shell of the chestnut. There is also a layer that is papery that should also be removed.
  6. Pour the water from the pot down the sink and set the pot aside.
  7. Once all the chestnuts are shelled place them into a pot with about 5-6 cups of water.
  8. Bring the water to a boil and cook the blanched chestnuts for about 30-40 minutes or until they can be pierced with a very thin skewer.
  9. Remove the boiled chestnuts from the pot and drain well and set on paper towels to absorb any excess water.
  10. Once the chestnuts are dry place them on a platter or in a bowl for all to eat.
  11. Enjoy!

© 2013 Beverly Mucha / All Rights Reserved

Jackson residents can shop at any of these local grocery stores: Pick’n Save or Wal-mart for all the ingredients needed for this recipe.

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