Chestnuts are a seasonal treasure in the autumn and winter, and if you’ve never tried them, you’re definitely missing out. While they might look like strange little alien foods once they’re peeled, the flavor and novelty of them makes all the effort worth it.
The chestnut harvests in the past couple of years have been dodgy, so I was delighted to find a beautiful batch in the store just before Thanksgiving. The cashier gave me a knowing smile in the checkout line, indicating that she, too, loved these tasty little morsels.
The chestnuts are soft and tender when roasted just long enough, and while naturally sweet on their own, the simple syrup takes them up to the next level of delectable. A dash of spice and brandy gives them an extra holiday flavor boost, and the end result is something so tasty and snackable that I scarcely got a picture before they were all gone. Plus, that extra pizzazz of fiery brandy makes for an impressive preparation!
Where in Westeros?
While I could see plain roasted chestnuts being a favorite winter street food in the cities of Westeros, this strikes me as a very northern recipe. Can’t you just imagine the steaming pans of these gems being enjoyed in the Winter Town outside the walls of Winterfell? Or see the young Stark kids sneaking a few out of the kitchen while indulgent cooks pretend not to notice?
Roasted Brandy Chestnuts Recipe
Pairs well with: ice cream, brandy or mead,
Roasting: 30 minutes Prep: 15 minutes Cooking: 20 minutes
- 1 lb. chestnuts (roughly 35 or so)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tbs. honey
- 1 cup brandy
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Carve an X into the flat side of each chestnut with a sharp knife, then boil for 30 seconds. Drain and move to an oven-safe pan. Roast in oven at 425F for about 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool until handleable, then peel.