1 1/2 to 2 lb whole chestnuts in shell,
1 teaspoon vegetable oil,
1/4 cup water,
Special equipment: a chestnut knife (optional); a large heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron) with a lid
or, a shallow cookie sheet pain,
Make a large X in each chestnut with chestnut knife or a sharp paring knife, cutting through shell.
It is helpful to make a small cut in the other side also,
Heat oven to 300 - 325 degrees,
Place prepared chestnuts in a shallow cookie sheet pan and add enough water to barely cover the bottom of the pan.
Place in oven and roast until the chestnuts shells start to curl and pop open where they were cut.
Take one out and try it to see if the chestnut is tender.
When done, remove from pan and put into a paper bag, close the bag and let them "steam" for 5-10 minutes,
Remove from the bag and put them in a bowl.
Toss chestnuts with oil in a bowl Heat dry skillet over moderately low heat until hot, then roast chestnuts in skillet on stovetop, covered, stirring every few minutes, 15 minutes.
Add water and continue to roast, covered, stirring occasionally, until water is evaporated and chestnuts are tender, about 5 minutes more. Serve hot.