Last year when I went to the market before Christmas expecting to find chestnuts I was disappointed. Not a one... nada... nowhere, not at the market and not in the supermarket either. Well you don't find things like tinned chestnuts here in Extremadura... at least not often. So... this year as soon as I spied them in the shops I bought them...
Enough for stuffing the turkey anyway. I would have liked to be roasting them in our new bbq or bread oven but alas that is not to be ... not yet anyway so I prepared them as follows:
Score each chestnut with a cross or a slit all the way around. Even using a very sharp knife this isn't a fun job. The nuts wont hold still. The shells are really tough and my fingers were quite sore by the end of it... I kept myself going by thinking of the turkey stuffing.
Spread them out on a baking sheet in a single layer then put them in a preheated oven 180C for about half an hour. How to tell that they are done? Blimey, I don't know, after half an hour I took them out and sniffed - they smelled cooked.
I wrapped them in a tea towel to keep the skins moist and let them cool for a few minutes. But only a few minutes mind. Its best to peel them while they are still slightly warm as the skins harden up even more once they go cold. It hurts the fingers a bit but you could always wear gloves I guess.
A few of them are not quite cooked enough but not many... just one or two. So next time I might go for 35 or 40 minutes in the oven. It won't hurt, I don't think you can overcook them at least not until they go totally black and burned.
Then into a freezer bag and in the freezer. One less thing to worry about for the festive season.