1/2 pound fresh chestnuts, OR 2 cups frozen peeled chestnuts
3 pints brussels sprouts, trimmed, outer leaves removed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups pearl onions, peeled
2 cups chicken stock
1. (Skip this step if using frozen peeled chestnuts.) Preheat oven to 350°F. With a sharp paring knife, cut an "X" into the flat side of each chestnut. Spread chestnuts in a shallow pan and roast for 20 minutes (the cut flaps of the shells will curl up). Remove from the oven and set aside until just cool enough to handle -- if they cool completely, they'll be a real pain to peel. Peel chestnuts, removing the skin as well as the shells, and cut into quarters.
2. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Half-fill a large bowl with ice water. Drop the brussels sprouts into the boiling water and blanch them until crisp-tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain brussels sprouts in a colander, then immediately drop them into the ice water. When the sprouts are chilled through, drain again. Cut sprouts in half through the root end.
3. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large sauté pan over low heat. Add onions and cook until lightly caramelized, 5 to 7 minutes.
4. Add chestnuts and toss with onions until coated with butter; continue to sauté until onions are well-caramelized, about 3 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add brussels sprouts. Sauté for about 2 minutes, then add chicken stock, which should quickly come to a boil, steaming the sprouts to heat them through. Stir in remaining butter and season with salt and pepper. Serve.
Originally published in the December 2012 issue of Family Circle magazine.