What a disaster! I had neither wine nor household pet, so, in the interests of following the recipe reasonably closely, I went out and bought a cat. However, on my tight budget, made even tighter by my recent purchase, I had to make do with some methylated spirits ( White spirits for American readers), instead of the wine. I drank some of the Methylated, which tasted surprisingly good, so I had a little more whilst I cut crosses in all but one of the chestnuts as you suggested. I heated the oven to the required temperature and put the chestnuts in a cast iron pan into the hot oven. Ahh... the deliciousness of anticipation! After about 15 or 20 minutes, the pressure inside the un-crossed chestnut built up enough pressure to explode the tough skin of the nut. It let go with all the force (and the exact same physics principle) that drives massive ships and railway carriages; the irresistible force of steam. The explosion of that single chestnut was heard by neighbours in the next street. Someone rang the fire and emergency services. I had no need to open the oven, as the force had blown the heatproof glass door right off its hinges. The oven cavity was covered in a very thin film of chestnut meat, but there was nothing else left of the exploded nut. I couldn't even find fragments of skin! It took days to clean up later, but I was quite calm throughout, as the Methylated spirits had soothed my nerves so much, that I just though it was funny, after I had recovered from the bowel-loosening shock of the unbelievably loud explosion made by the detonating chestnut. After the ambulance officers had treated me for mild alcohol poisoning, and suggested that I never again try this chestnut-readiness testing method at home or anywhere else for that matter, they left, happily clutching a few of the remaining nuts, which, by the way, were delicious, with a touch of salt. I had almost forgotten about the chestnuts. The cat?... He flew through an open window with a screech I will never forget. I have never seen that cat again.
Never knew the "right" way to make chestnuts and have tried just about everything on them in the past lol Used 2 cats + a sleeping father for foolproof timing and went with a nice bottle of Blackberry Merlot. I appreciate the tip about serving them out of a paper bag. Keeps them warm longer and adds a very nice old timey touch.
I actually have never had roast chestnuts before, but since it's that time of year there were bags of chestnuts at the grocery store. Unfortunately, I was out of wine so I had to go with the optional martini. I can confirm the whole cat thing, though. Works even better with TWO cats, both of which were sleeping near the stove when the unintended test chestnut went rocketing around inside. Oh, that was fun. Not. The chestnuts tasted great. Now I know what I've been missing. The martinis (okay, I got stuck on that first instruction and wound up repeating it twice) were great, too.
Possibly the best recipe I have ever read. Beyond charming. Thanks.
I have used this recipe and wrapped my uncut chestnut in aluminum foil loosely so it would not soil my oven and everything came out GREAT! I only wish I could get them all the time fresh instead of only once a year. DARN!
Best all time recipe! I was recently given several pounds of chestnuts, and was looking up how to roast them. Not only is this informative, but it will have me laughing for quite some time! Hope you have more
This made me really unhappy. The chestnuts turned out okay. But leaving one in the oven to "blow" as a timer... BAD IDEA. It exploded sticky nut debris all over my oven, and will take forever to clean, once I get to it. It's crusted on. Very, very unhappy cook right here.
I honestly haven't tried this recipe...However, I have thouroughly enjoyed reading both the recipe directions; and some of the comments. Thanks for making cooking fun my friends!
First, I still use the recipe and it is handy. Second Ms. DbKnadler, the review was long after I left Zaar never to return. You might want to read my page before you comment. It's very annoying to have to rejoin something comment to correct an assumption. Philocrates aka House