Home Fries with Chestnuts

6 ounces chestnuts

3 tablespoons canola oil

2 large Russet potatoes, peeled and diced

½ yellow onion, diced

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Using a chestnut knife, cut an X in the cheek of each chestnut. Arrange the chestnuts in a single layer on a baking tray and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until tender. Let rest for about 5 minutes, or until just cool enough to handle. Peel and dice.

Heat a large, heavy sauté pan over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the potatoes and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, tossing about 2 times, until crusty and brown in spots.* Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the onion, and sauté for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Add the chestnuts and sauté for another 20 to 22 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. Season to taste with salt and pepper, transfer to a bowl, and serve immediately.

 

Serves 2 to 4, depending on what else is for breakfast. Enjoy in the fall, when chestnuts are in season. A visit to the local chestnut orchard on a brisk day, after all the leaves have fallen from the trees, provided me a few moments of much-needed peace. Chestnuts are easiest to peel when they're hot.

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