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In Season in Winter: Chestnuts



Go to:  Main Winter Seasonal Page


Jump to:-      Buying & Storing  Chestnuts  |   Preparing and cooking  Chestnuts  |   Editor's Choice Top 3  Autumn Chestnuts Recipes


Types of Chestnuts


There  are  many varieties of edible chestnuts however great care should be taken not to confuse edible sweet chestnuts with semi-poisonous nuts of the common Horse-Chestnut tree (conkers) which ripen at the same time and are of a similar size, shape and colour. You can tell edible chestnuts from conkers by the fact that edible chestnuts have a point at the top of the nut whereas conkers don't. Depending on the variety, chestnuts are in season from October to March.



Buying and storing fresh Chestnuts

Choose firm nuts that feel heavy for their size with shiny, smooth shells.   Store in a cool dry place


Preparing  and Cooking fresh Chestnuts


Chestnuts are a versatile ingredient which can be cooked in a variety of ways - boiled, roasted, steamed, microwaved, pureed and are used in both savoury and sweet dishes. Simple roasted chestnuts in their shell are absolutely delicious and are a favourite in Britain, especially at Christmas. However, before cooking in their shell they must be slit to avoid them bursting (a very messy occurrence).


Once cooked, they should be shelled and the thin skin removed before eating or using in recipes. To peel chestnuts prior to cooking, slit as above and place in a pan of boiling water and boil for 10 minutes. Keep the chestnuts in the hot water until ready to peel as it is easier to remove the shells and skins when they are warm.


Editor's Choice:  Top 3 Winter Season Chestnut Recipes



Casserole of Pheasant with Chestnuts

An easy to prepare  main course dish which makes the most of late season pheasants and chestnuts, baked in the oven in red wine. Excellent for older birds.




Red Cabbage with Chestnuts

Slow braised winter season red cabbage with fresh chestnuts makes a great accompaniment to roaast goose, chicken or turkey.




Chocolate Chestnut Pie

This tart is so rich that a 18cm/7 inch flan is sufficient to serve 6. Made in around an hour, it can be served hot or cold.

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