Wash the chestnuts in cold water and put them in a pot.
Add the bay leaves and the star anise (or fennel seeds).
Fill the pot with cold water with 1 1/2" inches above the chetnuts.
Boil the chestnuts for about 30-45 mins. depending on their size.
Drain the water and remove the skin while they are still warm as the inside skin will come off easier.
Alternatively, cut them in half and remove/eat the fruit with a small teaspoon.