Do you think of chestnuts as something you roast once a year and enjoy as a snack? Turns out chestnuts are much more than that.
In the Southwest of France, the chestnut, called marron, is used in many dishes, from savory to sweet. It is dried and ground into flour, then baked into bread or cakes. You might say the French really know their way around a chestnut.
That’s why we source our chestnuts in France, where they are shelled, cooked and then vacuum-sealed so that you can enjoy their nutty flavor all year long. This saves you a lot of work, and makes it easy yo experiment with them in the kitchen.
Chestnuts are a wonderful addition to many recipes, including poultry, game meats, and dishes with truffles, wild mushroom or root vegetables.
Read on for seven recipes that show the versatility of the noble chestnut.
1. Chestnut Soup with Crème Fraiche & Porcini Scented Duck Fat Croutons
In this recipe, sweet chestnuts are slowly simmered in an aromatic Port-enriched stock until tender, then puréed to make a luxurious velouté. Duck fat croutons dusted with porcini powder add a little earthy crunch to this savory soup.
2. Chestnut Hummus
Traditional hummus is a healthful and delicious dish, but replace standard chickpeas with chestnuts for a richer, creamier paste while upping the health ante too. Chestnuts are packed vitamin C, potassium, copper and magnesium, amino acids, antioxidants, and have high levels of essential fatty acids. This hummus makes a great dish for parties any time of the year.
3. Chestnut, Walnut & Fennel Sauté
This chestnut recipe, inspired by the cuisine of Joël Robuchon, is adapted from Patricia Wells’ book Simply French. Our ready-to-eat chestnuts, black truffle butter and demi-glace add richness to a simple sauté of pearl onions and fennel. It’s great for holiday meals, but can also be served with a roasted chicken on any night of the week.
4. Roast Turkey with Chestnuts
Even though the French do not celebrate Thanksgiving, they know how to roast a turkey: rubbed in garlic and white wine with a side of glazed chestnuts and buttery mushrooms. This could be a whole new holiday tradition.
5. Leg of Lamb Stuffed with Cranberries & Chestnuts
Our friend Chef Michel Nischan stuffs a leg of lamb with an aromatic blend of dried cranberries, chestnuts and fresh sage then cooks it to medium rare for a show-stopping roast. A great centerpiece for a holiday dinner, this leg of lamb recipe is also just perfect for any large gathering.
6. Alsatian-Style Roast Goose with Foie Gras & Chestnuts
7. Dark Chocolate Chestnut Truffles
Usually when we talk about truffles we mean the fungi type. These little bites are packed with rich chocolate flavor and the sweetness of chestnuts. Best of all, they’re incredibly easy to make and perfect for sharing. So yes, chestnuts for dessert.
Are you cooking with chestnuts? What are your favorite ways to use them? Tell us about it here, or find us on social media. Tag @dartagnanfoods on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.