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Braised Chestnuts and Brussels Sprouts
Serves 6
1 pound chestnuts (about 36)
1 cup chicken broth
1 pound Brussels sprouts
2 quarts boiling water
1 tablespoon salt

1. Put a big pot of water on to boil. With a sharp paring knife, cut an "X" in the shell of each chestnut. Try not to cut down into the meat of the nut, but do cut through the shell so the nuts will be easy to peel when they are cooked. Boil the cut chestnuts for 5 minutes then scoop them out of the water with a strainer or a slotted spoon.

2. While the nuts are still hot, pull off the outer shells and peel off as much of the inner skin as you can. Some nuts will not give up their skins; reheat them and try again, and if necessary, cut the skin away with a paring knife.

3. Use the paring knife to trim the bottoms from the Brussels sprouts. Pull away any loose or damaged leaves. Cook the Brussels sprouts in boiling salted water for 4 or 5 minutes, or until they can be easily pierced with the tip of a knife. Drain the sprouts and rinse in cold water to halt the cooking process.

4. Put the peeled chestnuts in a sauté pan with the chicken broth, cover the pan and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Do not let the broth boil too hard or the chestnuts will fall apart. As soon as the chestnuts are tender, add the Brussels sprouts and cook uncovered another five minutes.

5. If the sauce has not reduced into a syrupy glaze around the vegetables, lift them out with a slotted spoon and boil the juice in the pan until it is almost gone, then return the vegetables to the pan and toss them in the reduced broth to coat them. Serve hot as a side dish.

Copyright © 2003 The Seattle Times Company

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