About this recipe:Fresh chestnuts are only in season for a short time, so make the most of them during the winter months.
300g fresh chestnuts
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
3–4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
salt and freshly ground black pepper
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Method Prep:30min › Cook:30min › Ready in:1hr
Score all around each chestnut with the point of a knife. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add 1 tbsp of the oil and the chestnuts and boil for 10 minutes. (The oil helps to loosen the skins so they will be easier to peel.)
Remove the pan from the heat and lift out just a few chestnuts at a time with a draining spoon. Remove the outer shell and inner brown skin – they peel much more easily when piping hot, but you will need to wear rubber gloves for this operation.
Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan, add the chestnuts and carrots and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the chestnuts are golden brown.
Sprinkle with 100ml water and add two thyme sprigs and the fennel seeds. Cook gently for 30 minutes, uncovered, shaking the pan occasionally. Add more water if needed, then drain if necessary when the vegetables are cooked. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove the cooked thyme and garnish with fresh sprigs to serve.
*For a storecupboard variation on this dish, use a vacuum-pack or can of cooked and peeled chestnuts and omit steps 1 and 2. *This would make a super accompaniment to roast chicken or turkey.