Chestnut Confit with Roasted Potatoes, Bacon, and Kumquats
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 2 pounds new (baby) potatoes, quartered
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups fresh orange juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 12 kumquats, quartered, flesh removed and discarded (reserve the skins)
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 8 ounces fresh chestnuts (about 12), shelled and peeled
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Heat a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spatula, drain on a paper towel, and reserve the rendered fat.
- Add the potatoes to the pan with the bacon fat, toss to coat, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the potatoes to a nonstick baking sheet and bake until tender, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the juice, sugar, kumquat skins, and vinegar in a medium nonreactive saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer until the skins are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the skins with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add the chestnuts to the liquid and bring them to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the liquid has reduced by three fourths into a thick syrup, about 1 hour. The nuts should be tender enough to break into bits with the nudge of a wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper.
- Toss the roasted potatoes with the reserved bacon and kumquat peels. Place them on a platter and top with the chestnut confit to serve.