12 Small Yet Special Roasts for Your Holiday Meal

The holiday season is a time for warmth, togetherness, and indulgent feasts. But what if your gathering this year is a bit more intimate, with a smaller group of cherished loved ones? Fear not, for this curated list of delightful selections of small roasts that are bound to steal the show at your holiday table. From succulent beef tenderloin to savory turkey thighs, these dishes offer a grand presentation and exquisite flavors without overwhelming your gathering. Let’s dive into these top 8 small yet special roasts for your holiday meal, courtesy of Martha Stewart’s recipe blog.

  1. Beef Tenderloin, Wrapped in Potatoes

These roasts aren’t just a feast for the taste buds; it’s a visual spectacle as well. Imagine a small cut of beef tenderloin enrobed in par-cooked russet potatoes, crisping up beautifully in the oven. The result? A culinary masterpiece that’s as beautiful as it is delicious. Don’t worry about leftovers; they make for the most delectable sandwiches the next day.

  1. Stuffed Apricot Jam Turkey Breast

If you’re looking for a hassle-free stuffed turkey recipe, this one’s a winner. No trussing required! It involves a deeply savory stuffing crafted with sausage, sage, lemon zest, and a hint of apricot jam, all tucked snugly beneath the turkey’s skin. This dish will leave your guests in awe.

  1. Portobello Gratin Mushrooms

For a vegetarian delight, these individual Portobello mushroom gratins are the way to go. The earthy mushroom caps serve as the perfect vessel for a creamy, cheesy gratin filling. This dish is not just a feast for the eyes but also a delightful treat for your non-meat-eating guests.

  1. Roasted Chicken Breasts With Grape Stuffing

Roast chicken is a classic, but this recipe takes it up a notch. Split chicken breasts are browned to perfection and set atop a rustic stuffing made with torn ciabatta bread and sweet, juicy grapes. The result is a delightful melding of flavors and a stuffing that’s crispy on the surface.

  1. Delectable Apple-Braised Turkey Thighs

The months of November and December come alive in this recipe. Turkey thighs are lovingly braised in a flavorful mixture of apple cider, cider vinegar, fresh apples, and shallots. The result? A dish with layers of savory depth that embodies the essence of the holiday season.

  1. Roasted Chicken, Covering Lemons and Onions

This ultimate roast chicken recipe is a game-changer. Forget the stuffing; this recipe focuses on roasting the bird to perfection, achieving a crispy brown skin and juicy meat. The secret? Salting the chicken ahead of time and roasting it on a sheet pan over a bed of sliced lemons and onions, which you can enjoy along with the chicken.

  1. Whole Roasted Cauliflower With Green Herb Sauce

For a show-stopping centerpiece that’s also vegan or vegetarian-friendly, look no further than a whole-roasted cauliflower. Paired with a vibrant herb sauce, this dish not only impresses but also complements your holiday meal beautifully. Consider serving it alongside a vegan mushroom-leek stuffing for the ultimate plant-based feast.

  1. Pork Tenderloin with Sage and Garlic Crust

When your holiday gathering is more intimate, this petite pork tenderloin is the perfect choice. Coated with aromatic garlic and sage, it delivers exceptional flavor and is ready in just 40 minutes. A splendid option when you’re aiming for a smaller roast without compromising on taste.

A smaller gathering doesn’t mean you have to skimp on flavor or presentation. These 8 small yet special roasts are the epitome of holiday indulgence, offering a range of flavors and styles to suit your taste and your party size. Whether you opt for the potato-wrapped beef tenderloin, the savory stuffed turkey breast, or the vegan-friendly whole roasted cauliflower, your holiday meal is sure to be a memorable feast.

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Aromatic and Zesty: Hibiscus BBQ Sauce Chicken Wings

Chicken wings are a beloved staple at gatherings, from small family get-togethers to epic parties. But what if we told you that there’s a way to take your chicken wing game to a whole new level? Get ready to explore a unique twist on the classic chicken wing with this recipe for Hibiscus BBQ Chicken Wings from Food 52. These wings are nothing short of spectacular, featuring a homemade BBQ sauce infused with the exotic flavors of hibiscus. With a tantalizing balance of tartness, tanginess, and sweetness, these wings will steal the show at any occasion. So, roll up your sleeves and prepare to embark on a culinary adventure that will elevate your wing game to a whole new level!

Hibiscus BBQ Sauce Ingredients:

Chicken Wing Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds chicken wings, separated at the joint with tips removed
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Heat up a large saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Sauté the diced onions and scallions until the onions turn slightly translucent, which should take around 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Add the chopped garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds until it becomes fragrant. Into the saucepan, toss in all the dry spices and herbs, including salt and pepper, stirring them to combine. Pour in 1 cup of water and add the tomato paste, dried hibiscus flowers, apple cider vinegar, molasses, and the Scotch bonnet pepper. Let this delightful mixture simmer for 15 minutes until the hibiscus flowers have softened.
  3. Once done, carefully transfer the mixture into a blender and process until you achieve a smooth and thoroughly combined texture. If needed, you can add additional water, one tablespoon at a time, to reach your desired sauce consistency. Return the barbecue sauce to the saucepan and introduce the honey, stirring until well incorporated. Taste the sauce and add extra salt if required.
  4. For the Chicken Wings, preheat your oven to 400°F. Begin by patting the chicken wings dry before placing them into a spacious bowl. Drizzle the chicken wings with olive oil, then season them with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. Give them a good toss to ensure even coating.
  5. Lay out the seasoned chicken wings in a single layer on a wire rack set over a baking sheet, ensuring they don’t touch each other. You might need two baking sheets depending on your batch size. Bake the chicken wings, flipping them once, until they achieve a glorious golden-brown color. This typically takes around 30 minutes. Once the wings are done baking, transfer them to a fresh bowl and coat them generously with the hibiscus barbecue sauce. Place them back on the wire rack over the baking sheet.
  6. Return the sauced-up wings to the oven for an additional 10 minutes, turning them halfway through. Finally, serve these delectable Hibiscus BBQ Chicken Wings piping hot and watch them disappear.

Now that you’ve unlocked the secrets to creating Hibiscus BBQ Chicken Wings, you’re well-equipped to be the star of any gathering or game day event. The exotic twist of hibiscus in the BBQ sauce takes these wings to new heights, offering a harmonious blend of flavors that’s sure to impress your guests. So, don’t wait for the next party – whip up a batch of these tantalizing wings and savor the applause and satisfied smiles of your friends and family. Get ready to embark on a flavor journey like no other with our Hibiscus BBQ Chicken Wings!

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Holiday Recipe: Preparing a Perfect Turducken

If you’re looking for a change of pace for what to put on the dinner table this holiday season, why not try cooking a turducken for your best holiday recipe? A turducken is a turkey stuffed with a duck, which is in turn stuffed with a chicken. This dish is sure to impress your guests and have them talking long after the meal is over, and thanks to these solid turducken preparation tips from Louisiana Cookin, your next feast is sure to impress.

Reasons to Cook a Turducken

There are many reasons to consider cooking the holiday recipe, a turducken, this season. First, it’s a unique dish that will stand out from the traditional turkey dinner. Your guests will be intrigued by this unusual presentation, and they’ll be eager to try it. Second, turducken is extremely flavorful. The different meats complement each other, and the stuffing adds an extra layer of flavor and texture. This is sure to be a hit with even the pickiest eaters. Third, cooking a turducken is relatively easy, especially if you use a pre-made stuffing mix. And since it’s already stuffed, there’s no need to worry about making additional side dishes. Just add some roasted potatoes or vegetables, and you’ve got a complete meal. So if you’re looking for something different this Thanksgiving, give turducken a try. It’s sure to please everyone at the table!


When it comes to ensuring your turducken preparation is the best that it can be, thawing, basting, browning, and temperature-checking your turducken are extremely important cooking aspects to pay attention to.


It is important to thaw a turducken completely before cooking. Thawing a frozen turducken can be done one of two ways: in the refrigerator or in cold water. If you choose to thaw your turducken in the refrigerator, place it on a tray or in a pan to catch any drips and allow 24-48 hours for it to thaw completely. If you’re short on time, you can place your turducken in cold water, making sure to change the water every 30 minutes. Either way, it is vital that you give your thawed bird plenty of time to reach room temperature before cooking. So, after your turducken has thawed in the fridge, remove it from the packaging and allow it to come to room temperature. Allowing your turducken to stand at room temperature for a full hour before cooking will help it to cook evenly.


Basting is key to keeping your turducken moist while it cooks. You can use any type of fat or oil for basting, but we recommend using melted bacon drippings. Once your turducken has rested at room temperature for an hour you’ll generously brush the outside with your melted bacon drippings before cooking. Basting your turducken will help it brown nicely in the oven. Additionally, you can also put some foil over the breast area during the first hour or so of cooking to prevent it from getting too dark.


Browning is an important process for getting that perfect golden color for this holiday recipe and cooking it through, but a key way to ensure that your turducken doesn’t succumb to “over-browning” is to tuck its wings underneath it prior to placing it in the oven. By tucking the wings beneath the bird, you are ensuring that this thin part of the turducken is essentially safe from over-crisping.


Finally, cooking your turducken to the perfect temperature is essential. The internal temperature should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit when cooked through. The best way to know when your turkey is done is to use a meat thermometer. Insert it into the thickest part of the thigh, making sure not to touch bone, and cook until it registers at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the turducken from the oven and let it rest for 20-30 minutes before carving. This will give the juices a chance to redistribute and make carving easier. Serve and enjoy!

Lastly, Louisiana Cookin provided a top-notch secret gravy recipe that makes good use of your turducken drippings.


  • ½ cup of turducken drippings
  • ½ cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups of chicken broth, divided
  • ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper


  1. Take a roasting pan or a large nonstick saucepan and heat your collected turducken drippings over medium high heat. While the drippings are heating, you’ll sprinkle your ½ cup of all-purpose flour over the droppings and whisk them together to combine.
  2. Cook this gravy by stirring the pan constantly for about 1 to 2 minutes, until it’s thickened. Then, add ½ cup of chicken broth to the pan, whisking to combine. Cook by stirring the pan constantly for another 1 to 2 minutes, until it’s thickened. Add your remaining cup of chicken broth and repeat the whisking steps.
  3. Finish the gravy off by adding your pepper and serve alongside your roasted turducken.
  4. Enjoy!

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