Best way to peel chestnuts (other than roasting)

I'm planning to make candied chestnuts for holiday gifts, and will be peeling a few pounds of chestnuts in preparation. I don't want to roast them because I don't want the roasted flavor. Any good ideas for peeling a large quantity of chestnuts (and keeping them whole so they'll look pretty when candied)?

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Greenstuff
Greenstuff December 3, 2011

Cut and x in the bottom with a sharp knife. Put them in a saucepan, and add salted water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook 4 minutes. Let cool a little in the water. Remove one and peel the shell and inner skin. Repeat. if they are hard to peel, put them back into the warm water for a bit. If they're still tough to peel, reheat the water for a minute. Wearing gloves helps to insulate your fingers while you're peeling. Have fun.

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bigpan
bigpan December 3, 2011

Check your local Italian deli - they usually have jars of already peeled chestnuts this time of year.

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Greenstuff
Greenstuff December 3, 2011

Don't dismiss bigpan's idea. If your plan is to end up with a few pounds of peeled chestnuts, it's going to be a bit of work, and you'll have to get enough to account for some moldy ones and others that just never will peel beautifully. I'd been thinking of suggesting that you enlist a helper or two. If you do go the jarred route, some of my favorite brands are French, so you can look wider than Italian sources..

sweetlolo
sweetlolo December 6, 2011

Thanks for the ideas. I'll try Greenstuff's method first, but if it gets to be too frustrating I'll go looking for some already peeled ones.

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