My obsession with chestnuts began on a wintry morning seven years ago.
I was living in France at the time and, come November, roadside chestnut vendors appeared everywhere.
Give them 3 Euros and they’d reach into the belly of their portable ovens and extract a scoop of chestnuts which was then poured into a cone of twisted paper and handed over.
From the start of the season, until it ended, I averaged about a cone a day.
Those roadside vendors were my pushers, I was their junkie. It was a beautiful, sordid thing.
As an expert in these matters, I urge you to buy fresh chestnuts. Not the pre-peeled kind.
Those things are an abomination and no good will come of consuming them.
Be wary when selecting your chestnuts from the store – some may look pristine but have mould on the inside. You may like to employ what I call the ‘squeeze test’.
Apply gentle pressure to your chestnut. If it feels soft, it’s probably mouldy inside.
I’m not ashamed to spend time at the chestnut bin, gleefully fondling them like some sort of chestnut-loving deviant. Which, of course, I am.
Chestnut & Rosemary Stuffing (serves 2-3)
- 16 chestnuts (or 1.5 cup’s worth once peeled)
- 1/2 small, white onion, finely chopped
- 3 tbsps butter
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
- 1/2 tsp sage
- Carefully score an ‘x’ in the chestnuts. Bake them at 400 for 25 minutes. Remove and let cool. Once cool, peel the chestnuts then grind them until they are the consistency of breadcrumbs.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the onion and saute for a few minutes.
- Stir the ground chestnuts into the butter and onion and add the sage and rosemary.
- Stir until it comes together as a ball then shove the ball inside the cavity of your bird or bake separately in an oven-proof dish at 375 for 15 minutes.
Like this? You might also like: