Chestnuts roasting on an open fire

I was thrilled to find some chestnuts at our local grocery store today.  I bought a pound and brought them home, humming all the way…..”chestnuts roasting on an open fire”. 

My favorite way to roast chestnuts is on a camp fire, like we use to roast Chinquapins when we could find them growing wild in East Texas during the fall.  It’s getting harder to find them now.  Another favorite is just laying them on the hearth in front of a big, roaring fire on a cool evening. 

Since we weren’t going camping, I planned to get out our little charcoal grill, and roast them on it. 
Unfortunantly, my “open fire” was cancelled due to our recent burn ban. 

Luckily, chestnuts can easily be cooked in the oven, too! 

Oven Roasted Chestnuts

Items Needed:

1 lb. chestnuts
pairing knife

Step One: 
Fill a bowl with water and place all your chestnuts in the bowl.  Remove any that are floating, as they are probably moldy.  Good nuts should sink.   

Step Two:
Take each nut and score an X across the round side of the nut.  This will allow steam to escape as they cook. 

Step Three:

Place X side up on a cookie sheet and put in the oven at 300 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until the shell begins to peel away and the meat turns golden. 

Step Four:
Remove and as soon as they are cool enough to touch, peel off the shell and thin coating underneath. 

Chestnut and Chinquapin trees are native to Southeast United States, and can be grown in most parts of Texas.  They make a terrific tree, providing food for your family and local wildlife.  I haven’t been able to find a Texas grower, but when I do, I will update this post.  In the meantime, there are plenty of other growers that ship to Texas.  Check out