These days you can find chestnuts in the produce section of just about every grocery store. We picked up a batch at the new Trader Joe's that just opened in Warwick, but the bag we scooped at Stop & Shop were just as good. In any case, *note: chestnuts are highly perishable, so after roasting them, you will need to open them up to check for rotten ones--a handful had to be tossed. 1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. Prep: To prep these little nuts, you need a good, sharp, paring knife. Lay them out on a kitchen towel to prevent slippage, and carve an X onto the rounded side (with the knife's point). Some will argue you should X the flat side (probably because its easier to cut). Ours came out perfect, so I've stuck with Xing the rounded side.3. Dump the chestnuts in a roasting pan or tray with edges and roast for 15- 25 min. I shook the tray to toss after 10 min. & let them roast for 20 min. total.
Look for the edges to peel back and the insides to turn a golden brown. This one (below) is close, but not quite finished.
4. Let the chestnuts cool, but peel while still warm. Sadly, if they're overdone or underdone, the insides will stick to the shell. But when they come out right, they're incredibly sweet. Perfect for a get-together with family or friends.