How to roast chestnuts the right way

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...You know the song. Sadly, the closest many of us have ever gotten to roasting chestnuts on an open fire is sticking them in the oven. You know the drill. You cut the X's into the shell, roast them, and then you have to quickly peel off the skins while they're hot (inevitably burning your fingers along the way).

Even if you're lucky, you only have a 75% success rate, since many stubborn chestnuts refuse to slip from their skins once cooled. After many personal chestnut roasting fails, I have resorted to just buying them from the street carts of Manhattan. That is until recently, when I discovered a foolproof way to get it right, every single time. Read on to see how it's done:

If you've been spreading your chestnuts across a baking sheet to roast them, you're doing it ALL WRONG. You see, what chestnuts really need to open up is steam. Keeping them warm just until you peel them is also key. Here are some tips for roasted chestnut perfection every time.

Don't forget the X! Place the chestnuts flat side down on a cutting board. Use a small paring knife to score an X through the skin on the rounded side of each chestnut.

Soak 'em! Once you've scored them all, place the chestnuts in a bowl of hot water for 1 minute. This willl help them steam in the oven. Drain and pat the chestnuts dry. If you want to add herbs or flavorings, this is the time. Toss the chestnuts in a bowl with a combo of melted butter, rosemary, sea salt, or any other combo of fat, herb, and salt.

Learn how to roast your chestnuts the right way this holiday season.

More from epicurious

25 Amazing Turkeys for A Family Feast

How to Make Creamiest, Dreamiest, Cheesiest Mac and Cheese Ever

The Most Delicious Roast Chicken Dinner You'll Make This Season

Stress-Free, Super-Tasty Holiday Pies That Will Impress Anyone

A Visual Guide to Winter Squash