Drunken Chestnuts: the effortless recipe to enjoy sweet chestnuts

Total time: 80 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
By Cookist

Chestnuts are the edible fruits of the deciduous tree, Castanea sativa. They are quite popular in Italy around Christmas time and were known historically as poor man’s food. These days they’re freely available from October to December, making it a popular food during this time of year.

They can be eaten raw or cooked, and are also found in stores in the canned form (a great way to enjoy them at any time of the year). Chestnuts are an excellent source of carbohydrates and are rich in vitamins and minerals. They’re also a good source of iron.

They’re crunchy and slightly bitter when raw, but when cooked or canned, they become deliciously buttery and sweet. You will see chestnuts in all shapes and sizes in recipes, and if you’re looking for an interesting, fresh recipe—you need to try this drunken chestnut one.

Just pour some wine over the chestnuts and the result will be amazing—sweet, and slightly boozy with a soft texture. And best of all? You only need 2 ingredients! Drunken chestnuts are delicious when enjoyed as a snack or added to salads. Chestnuts have a mild flavor, which means they can easily be used in both savory and sweet additions (and can even be found in turkey stuffing or cookies). If you like chestnuts, roast them in the oven.


Tips for making the Best Drunken Chestnuts

Use any of the following flavorings to add to the wine: orange rind, lemon rind, cinnamon sticks, vanilla seeds, nutmeg or cloves.

Make sure to prepare the chestnuts correctly. It’s important to cut the chestnuts before boiling, this allows the water to penetrate the shell, and soften the chestnuts. If you see that the shell is difficult to remove, continue to boil for a few more minutes. Cut into the chestnuts, making sure to pierce both the outer shell and a part of the soft flesh. A sharp knife works best for this, so take care not to cut yourself.

It’s easier to peel chestnuts when they are warm. So start peeling them one-by-one while they’re still in the warm wine. You can also peel them by cutting the chestnuts in half and then squeezing the nuts out.

Drunken chestnuts can be boiled in an Instant Pot too! Add 1 lb of chestnuts and 4 cups of wine to an Instant Pot, and cook on high. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes.

How To Store Drunken Chestnuts

Store the drunken chestnuts in the fridge (in an airtight container) for up to 3 days. You can also freeze the drunken chestnuts for up to 3 months, closed in a freezer-safe bag.

fresh chestnuts
2 pounds (1 kg)
Red wine
17 ounces (500 ml)
Warm water

How To Make Drunken Chestnuts

Use a sharp knife to make a cut in the chestnuts.

Soak them in warm water for 30 minutes.

Let them dry and transfer them to the pan.

Pour the red wine over the chestnuts.

Bake at 180°C/360°F for 30 minutes.

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