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Whole Braised Chestnuts
(Marrons Braisés)

Whole Braised Chestnuts<br>(Marrons Braisés)

Ingredients:

  • 24 peeled chestnuts
  • A heavy, fireproof casserole or baking dish just  large enough to hold the chestnuts in one layer
  • 1 Tb arrowroot or cornstarch mixed to a paste  with 2 Tb port, Madeira, or water
  • 2 cups good brown stock or 1 1/2 cups canned  beef bouillon and 1/2 cup water
  • Water, if necessary
  • 3 Tb butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Place the chestnuts in the casserole or baking dish. Beat the starch mixture into the stock or bouillon and pour over the chestnuts. There should be enough liquid to cover them by 1/2 inch; add water, if necessary. Add the butter. Bring to the simmer, cover, then set in lower third of preheated oven. Regulate heat so liquid simmers very slowly for 45 to 60 minutes or until chestnuts are tender.
(*)If not to be served immediately, set aside uncovered. Cover and reheat slowly on top of stove before proceeding.

If liquid has not reduced to a syrupy glaze at the end of the cooking, drain it off and boil it down in a saucepan. Pour it back into the casserole and roll the chestnuts gently around in it to cover them with the glaze. Serve as follows:

Serve sprinkled with parsley, or combined with other vegetables as directed in whatever recipe you are using.
Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck (Alfred A. Knopf, 2001).