I've always loved the French way of roasting chestnuts on a bed of sea salt, flavored with a few fennel seeds to infuse a faint licorice taste. (Licorice happens to be one of the best flavors to enhance the natural taste of chestnuts.) Traditionally, French cooks bake the chestnuts with salt in an earthenware pot-bellied dish called a diable, but you can use a heavy cast-iron pot and still obtain excellent results.
The chestnuts are served warm accompanied by pats of butter.
The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen by Paula Wolfert. Copyright © 2003 by Paula Wolfert. Photographs copyright © by Christopher Hirsheimer. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.