A deliciously thick and creamy sauce that is wonderful with roast chicken. This simple blend of shallots, chestnuts, white wine and stock is Dairy-free.
The overlooked chestnut really is deserving of more attention than we give it. Certainly in Britain it has been relegated to something of a novelty food, duly trotted out with the gluhwein once a year at Christmas, then promptly forgotten. But actually, it’s something of a wonder-nut.
Unique among its nutty brethren, chestnuts have a low fat content. They also have an unusually high carbohydrate content. This means they have traditionally been used as a dietary source of carbohydrate, particularly in areas of southern Europe and Asia where cereal crops were not cultivable. For example, in the highlands of Tuscany, a cake made from chestnut flour called ‘Castagnaccio’ was popular as a potato substitute, due to the ready availability of chestnuts in the surrounding countryside.
The recipe below provides a great accompaniment to roast poultry, working as both a potato and a gravy substitute. I particularly recommend roast chicken and chestnut puree grain-free sandwiches).
You can, of course, roast and shell your own chestnuts. This probably seems like a fun idea if you’ve never done it before. You’ll google ‘how to roast chestnuts’, think it looks easy enough, and merrily set your oven to preheating. Please note that roasting and shelling your own chestnuts is only fun if your idea of fun involves shoving hot splinters into your nailbed. Repeatedly. While the pile of whole chestnuts left to shell remains undwindling, like some sort of magical self-replenishing foodstuff.So, even though this goes against the usual Paleo ethos, my advice to you is to buy vacuum packed chestnuts, that have already been cooked and shelled.
If you have a digestive disorder, Breaking the Vicious Cycle advises eating chestnuts only when sympton-free, due to the high starch content.
Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the shallot and fry for about 5 minutes, until translucent but not brown. Add the wine. Let the alcohol burn off by bubbling steadily for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Check that the alcohol has burned off by smelling the rising fumes, then turn off the heat.
Tip into a food processor. Add all the other ingredients and blitz until smooth.
My name is Rwth. I’m from Wales originally, but have lived happily in Bristol for many years. Cooking gives me great pleasure, but my interest in it was born of necessity. In 2012, my digestive system broke down after I suffered a traumatic bereavement. I spent the next 2 years in constant pain, until I began to follow the Paleo Diet. The Paleo Diet excludes foods that are difficult to digest and place stress on our bodies. This means cutting out all processed foods, and complex carbohydrates like sugar, dairy and grains such as wheat, oats and rice.
This website contains recipes and useful information for anyone following the Paleo Diet. In particular, for those who are trying to manage a gastrointestinal disorder such as Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Crohn's Disease, Coeliac Disease, Ulcerative Colitis or Leaky Gut. All the recipes are free from gluten, dairy and sugar.
Some recipes do contain grains and other starches like legumes - these are labelled 'Paleo Plus'. This is because carbohydrates are important for regulating female hormones, while resistant starch is important for maintaining healthy gut flora in both men and women. So, for this reason, carbohydrates should be gently reintroduced when your gut is ready. For more information on this, read the Paleo Plus page.