Marrons Braises

Marrons Braises (mah-rhon bray-zay), chestnuts braised in brown stock flavoured with Madeira, may be served as a garnish to meat dishes, as vegetable accompaniment to roast turkey, goose, chicken game. Peel the chestnuts according to the basic information under CHESTNUTS.

2 teaspoons butter

20 large whole chestnuts, peeled

2 teaspoons arrowroot

2 tablespoons Madeira

½ teaspoon salt -1 teaspoon black pepper bouquet garni, consisting of

4 parsley sprigs,

1 thyme spray and

1 bay leaf tied together

1 pint brown stock

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

With the butter, grease a medium-sized roasting tin and lay the chestnuts in the bottom of the tin. Set aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the arrowroot and Madeira. Stir in the salt, pepper, bouquet garni and stock. Set the pan over moderate heat and cook the sauce, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes or until it is hot and is boiling.

Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the sauce over the chestnuts, stirring to coat them well with the liquid.

Place the roasting tin in the centre of the oven and braise the chestnuts for 45 to 50 minutes, or until they are tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

Remove the tin from the oven. With a slotted spoon, remove the chestnuts from the tin and transfer them to a warmed serving dish. If the liquid in the tin has not reduced to a thick syrupy sauce, keep the chestnuts hot while you reduce the sauce further.

Pour the sauce through a fine wire strainer into a medium-sized saucepan. Set the pan over moderately high heat and boil the sauce, stirring occasionally, until it has reduced to half the original quantity.

Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the sauce over the chestnuts and stir to coat them well. Serve immediately.