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Jane Devonshire's Christmas Recipes

Braised Chestnuts
Side Dish

Serves 8 - 10

3 packs of vacuum packed chestnuts

75gm unsalted butter

3 banana shallots finely chopped

2 cloves garlic finely chopped

2 tablespoons Marsala

500 ml chicken stock fresh or liquid packet (not stock cube)

Salt and pepper

Chopped flat leaf parsley for garnish optional

Method

  1. Put the garlic, shallots and butter into a saucepan and gently sauté until translucent.                                                               

  2. Add the chestnuts and coat them with the butter mixture.                                     

  3. Pour on the Marsala and the stock and season with salt and pepper, gently simmer on the hob until the sauce is reduced to a thick consistency that coats the chestnuts leaving just a little stock behind.                                                                               

  4. Check seasoning, I like to be generous with this dish.                                              

  5. You can add chopped cooked bacon if you want as well.                                

  6. Sprinkle chopped parsley over before serving. Optional

Jane says... If you want to use fresh chestnuts criss-cross the bottoms and boil for 5 – 10 minutes to make them easier to peel. The fluffy inner skin is particularly hard to remove... It’s a real labour of love! Google the best way to do it if you are keen.

I really love this dish with my Christmas dinner. It can be fully prepared in advance and reheated on the hob or microwave before serving.

 

My Aunty taught me how to make it a long time ago but I had forgotten just how time consuming and fiddly prepping the fresh chestnuts was. However, thankfully nowadays thanks to wonderful vacuum packed chestnuts being available in supermarkets it’s become a real Christmas family favourite again. 

Photo: © Peter Cassidy