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Chestnut Confit with Roasted Potatoes, Bacon, and Kumquats


First Posted: 10/28/2011 4:55 pm Updated: 08/31/2012 10:48 am

Chestnut Confit with Roasted Potatoes, Bacon, and Kumquats

Chestnut Confit with Roasted Potatoes, Bacon, and Kumquats
Dan Goldberg
Provided by:
total prep
Recipe courtesy of Girl in the Kitchen by Stephanie Izard/Chronicle Books, 2011.

I was never a big fan of chestnuts growing up-chestnuts roasting on an open fire was just not appealing in the least to me, as warm and merry as it sounded. The texture is just so different from all other nuts out there that I couldn’t really get with it. But later, when I was working with my friend (and fellow Top Chef contestant) Dale Levitski at the Chicago bistro La Tache, he made a version of a chestnut confit to serve with a duck dish in winter. It totally changed my opinion of the chestnut and I eventually made my own version of it to serve at Scylla. To any other non-chesnut believers out there: Give it a try. I think it’ll change your mind, too.

Ingredients

  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 pounds new (baby) potatoes, quartered
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 12 kumquats, quartered, flesh removed and discarded (reserve the skins)
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 8 ounces fresh chestnuts (about 12), shelled and peeled

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Heat a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spatula, drain on a paper towel, and reserve the rendered fat.
  • Add the potatoes to the pan with the bacon fat, toss to coat, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the potatoes to a nonstick baking sheet and bake until tender, about 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine the juice, sugar, kumquat skins, and vinegar in a medium nonreactive saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer until the skins are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the skins with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Add the chestnuts to the liquid and bring them to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the liquid has reduced by three fourths into a thick syrup, about 1 hour. The nuts should be tender enough to break into bits with the nudge of a wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Toss the roasted potatoes with the reserved bacon and kumquat peels. Place them on a platter and top with the chestnut confit to serve.

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