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Fill a large pot with water.
Rinse the chestnuts.
Place one chestnut on a damp tea towel with the flat side down. Hold it firmly between your thumb and finger and score through the two layers. That is to say, the outer hard shell and the soft inner membrane. Take extra caution in cutting them.
Place the scored chestnuts in the pot of cold water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to obtain a nice gentle simmer and place a cover, tilted slightly open. Simmer for approximately 30 minutes. The total boiling time will depend on their size and what you plan on making with them.
Test one chestnut to make sure it has reached your desired texture. Turn off the heat. Leave the chestnuts in the pot with the water to cool down. When cool enough to handle, work quickly with one chestnut at a time to remove the outer shell as it hardens quickly.With the tip of a knife, remove the outer shell and then peel off the inner skin. Repeat until there are no more nuts.