As I was wandering through the vegetables at my local Waitrose I came across something less ordinary. The label called them cobnuts. I had never seen them before so naturally I bought them and worried about what to do with them when I got home.

In a few short clicks I found out they are a British wild nut mainly cultivated in Kent and are related to the hazlenut so have a similar flavour unless they are under ripe in which case they taste more like coconut. One question did go unanswered…. how do I get them out of their shell. I wondered whether I’d have to go back to the supermarket to buy a nutcracker but thankfully they cracked open between my teeth.

The recipes on the internet were basically recipes for any nut, both sweet and savoury. I chose to make a Cobnut, wild mushroom and chestnut stir fry. A perfect accompaniment to a roast.

First you need to get that chicken in the oven. I’m sure you have your own recipe for your own perfect roast but I’ll quickly tell you how I prepped mine. I slapped mine on a roasting tin, drizzled a little oil over it then sprinkled it with salt, pepper and paprika. Then put a quartered lemon, a tablespoon of honey and a couple cloves of garlic in the chicken’s ‘oven’ before bunging the whole thing in the oven for a couple of hours.

I then started on the stir-fry so got out the following ingredients….

150g chestnuts, 50g cobnuts

150g wild mushrooms, sliced

A diced onion and 2 sprigs of fresh thyme although I only had the dried stuff.

Start by placing a frying pan over a high heat. Add a little butter and when melted and foaming. add the onion. Fry for 2-3 minutes, until softened.

Then add the thyme and wild mushrooms. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes, until tender.

Add the cobnuts and chestnuts and fry for 1-2 minutes until heated through.

Then season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

I then mushed it up a little.

And served with a plateful of roast chicken

Not a pretty dish but great for an autumn’s evening.


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