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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • roasting chestnuts

    can you please tell me how to roast fresh chestnuts or if boiling them is a better option. i have an electric cooker so if you can give me the fan oven temperature that you be great thank you sandra

    From the nigella team:

    You can either roast or boil chestnuts. Boiling will simply help you to remove the skins. Roasting will introduce more flavour into the chestnuts and is generally more preferred. Either way you need to start by cutting a small cross in the pointed end of each chestnut (a sharp vegetable knife is good for this).

    If roasting the chestnuts then preheat the oven to 200c/400F/Gas Mk 6. For fan ovens you would generally turn the temperature down 20c so 180c would be about right, but check your oven handbook for the manufacturer's instructions. Put the chestnuts, cut side up, on a baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, until the skins start to peel away from the chestnut. Wait until the chestnuts are cool enough to handle before peeling them, but they do need to be warm for the skins to come away.

    You can boil the chestnuts for about 20 minutes to loosen the skins, they are often easier to peel after boiling. Scoop them from the water a few at a time and leave until cool enough to handle before peeling. The peeled chestnuts can be roasted for about 20 minutes, to add extra flavour.

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