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Old 04-27-2013, 08:18 PM   #1
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Problems With Roasting Chestnuts

Hi everyone,

I'm sorry if this topic comes up a lot. I would really like some opinions about roasting chestnuts and the way mine turn out. We have a chestnut tree in the backyard and I always eaten them raw. When I was little we all use to roast them over a fire in a pan and I can't remember having any issues with them. Since then I've tried a few times to cook them in an oven and it just hasn't worked.
Depending on the recipe, I usually cook them for around 25 minutes (x on flat side) I've also tried soaking them 15 minutes prior to roasting. After they're cooked they are crumbly (is this normal?) and soft/squishy in the middle but they are also slightly discoloured. Most times they have a purple tint in the middle. They taste fine raw though and there's no dark spots or discolouration. I pick them either off the tree when the pod is open, or get them from the fallen ones on the ground usually within a day of them falling.
Does anyone have any idea why they turn out like this?

Thank you.

Amiee.

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Old 04-27-2013, 10:43 PM   #2
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Hi Amiee .. welcome to DC .. you won't regret your stop here .. this place is awesome !

I've never roasted chestnuts, nor have I ever had the pleasure of eating them .. but I did a quick search and found this video .. perhaps this will help you.

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Old 04-28-2013, 03:28 AM   #3
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Mrs L, I too have never had chestnuts...would love to try some one day though
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:38 AM   #4
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I wonder if you could order them online? When we had the wood burning stove in the kitchen, my mother made them every year for me. She had a special plate that was more of a grilling basket that you could put over one side of the stove in place of the regualr lid. (She also made toast for me that way.) They always had that woodsie flavor. Sort of like being done over a campfire. I would sit down with the salt shaker and go to them. They didn't last long. But they have gotten expensive now. Still a half pound would make me very happy. I will have to get some this year. They become available around fall time.
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:38 AM   #5
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I love roasted chestnuts (childhood memories of roasting them on a smallish shovel with holes over an open fire) and I have roasted in the oven with the same result as you Amiee, sometimes crumbly and often with that mauvy/purplish colouring. I too have always used the X cuts. Since looking at that video though I think I'll try that next time I cook them to see if it does make a difference to the texture. I once tried to make marrons glace - now I know why they are so expensive

In London, England you can still see Roast Chestnut sellers in some of the busy streets/markets in the Autumn
London Daily Photo: Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:13 AM   #6
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One way to cull out most of the bad chestnuts, before putting in the effort to roast and peel ALL of them, would be to cover the chestnuts with water, and discard the chestnuts which float. This is not a foolproof method: there will be a little bit of wastage as there would have been some good ones amongst the chestnuts which floated, and there will STILL be a few bad ones amongst the chestnuts which sank, but the yield of good ones amongst the chestnuts which sank will be noticeably higher.

Also, it is very easy to burn the chestnuts while roasting them, so boiling them provides a slightly higher quantitative yield, but roasting them is so much more enjoyable and enriching that I would recommend roasting (especially in a coal-fire) as a better overall experience, compared to the much more mundane boiling method, unless yield is all that you are after.
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:19 AM   #7
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I agree about the marron glace. I've just recently bought a supply of them from my local gourmet store at over $60 Australian dollars (over $62 US dollars) for each pack, and each pack contained only 8 (eight) of these delectable morsels.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kujiraya View Post
I agree about the marron glace. I've just recently bought a supply of them from my local gourmet store at over $60 Australian dollars (over $62 US dollars) for each pack, and each pack contained only 8 (eight) of these delectable morsels.
Good Grief! Someone better start planting some Chestnut trees down there and bring those prices down. And I had the nerve to complain because they have been $2 or $3 a pound here.
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:20 PM   #9
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Thank you for the replies everyone :) I think I'm going to have to try getting them from the store and seeing how they turn out. I have a feeling that its probably something to do with our chestnuts. With the next batch I get of ours, I might try roasting them on the fire instead and seeing if they still discolour .etc
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:47 PM   #10
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If I could find them I think they would be a good thing to experiment with and see what they are capable of. Are these something you could find at Wal-mart or do you have to go to some specialty health store or something to get them?
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