Chestnut and Potato Puree Recipe

  • 3 pounds medium yellow-fleshed potatoes such as Yukon Gold
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 cups bottled peeled roasted whole chestnuts
  • 1 quart half-and-half
  • 1 Turkish bay leaf
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Prick each potato in a few places with a fork, then divide potatoes into 3 groups and wrap each group in foil. Bake in oven until tender when pierced with a sharp knife, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.
  3. While potatoes bake, melt butter in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, then cook chestnuts, stirring, 5 minutes. Add half-and-half, bay leaf, salt, and pepper and gently simmer, covered, until chestnuts are very tender and cream is infused with bay leaf, 15 to 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf, then transfer chestnuts with a slotted spoon to a blender. Add enough cooking liquid to puree chestnuts easily, then puree until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Return puree to pot with remaining liquid and stir together. Keep warm over very low heat.
  4. Holding them with a kitchen towel to protect your hands, carefully unwrap and peel potatoes, a few at a time, and push through ricer into chestnut mixture. Stir to combine (mixture will continue to thicken) and season to taste.
  5. Puree can be made 1 hour ahead and kept at room temperature, surface covered with wax paper or parchment, or 1 day ahead and kept chilled, surface covered with a piece of wax paper or parchment. Bring to room temperature before reheating over very low heat, covered, stirring occasionally and adding more half-and-half if necessary.