When a journalist called me a couple of weeks ago asking me about chestnuts in my kitchen notebook, I was up to my elbows in them. Last night I saw that I was featured along with a recipe for my favorite way to serve chestnuts at the holiday table in the Washington Post! Thank you so much!
This year we collected a lot of wild chestnuts during our walks in the woods. I prepared my puree from the raw chestnuts by slow simmering them in my regular mixed duck and guinea hen stock. This goes into the freezer after a cream enrichment, and when the time comes, it will be mixed with the best smoked bacon we know and brown in a gratin dish as a Thanksgiving side. Heaven knows that these little nuggets embody all that I am thankful for.
When I look back at the ideas I've already gathered on the plethora of things to do with chestnuts and expand to consider all of the mentions of chestnuts in my kitchen notebook, I am reminded of their ever present quality in Lyonnais cooking. It would be a shame not to incorporate them somehow in my class about Cooking in Burgundy Clay this winter. Along with pumpkin, chestnuts definitely are one of my favorite elements in Lyonnais cold weather dishes.
It would be so nice to have some of those luscious gold wrapped slow sugar confit chestnuts for the holidays, but of my own making. This year my personal project is to perfect my own documentation of this city's special sugar confit method to include on the 13 desserts table at the holidays.
Will chestnuts make an appearance at your table this winter? How do you like to use them?