They are the perfect snack for the cold season - high in Vitamin-C, a good source of minerals such as Iron, Calcium and Magnesium and they are gluten free.
The hardest thing about making chestnuts is finding good ones. Often if you buy organic they are full of worms, other times you can hardly peel them, sometimes they are already mouldy. Once I have found a good supplier I usually stick with them.
It is unfortunately hard to tell from the outside if they are any good, but here are a couple of things I have learned:
They should be firm, if you press them there should not be too much room between the peel and the nut.
I smell them, if they have a musky smell they are most likely already mouldy.
Check for worm holes and sort these out from the start.
There are many ways to make chestnuts, over an open fire is lovely but my girls like them for breakfast so I go for the simple oven method.
First score each chestnut with a knife on the flat side. You can do a singe line or a cross - it's simply to make the peeling easier later on.
I pre-heat the oven on fan at 200 degrees. Place them on the rack and also put a bowl of water in the bottom of the oven. Which keeps them from drying out.
12 to 15 minutes are usually perfect, depending on the size.
I find chestnuts do not keep very well, not even in the fridge, but for us they never last that long anyways...