Tips & Techniques Christmas 12 Days of Christmas Recipes

We decided to have some fun with that beloved carol, “The 12 Days of Christmas,” matching each verse with a recipe from the Williams-Sonoma website. Admittedly, a few required a stretch of the imagination – but all of these dishes will make delicious additions to your holiday celebrations.


“On the first day of Christmas, Williams-Sonoma sent to me” . . .

“A partridge in a pear tree.”
Spiced Pear Upside Down Cake

Skip the partridge and eat dessert first. Seasoned with warming spices that befit the holidays, this buttery cake is topped with sweet pears.

“Two turtle doves.”
Turkey and Black Turtle Bean Chili
Don’t worry, no turtles or doves here! Instead, we opted for black turtle beans, which are combined with ground turkey and bold spices to create a hearty chili. Just add corn bread – and plenty of hungry friends.

“Three French hens.”
Coq au Vin

This was an easy match: the traditional French chicken dish, coq au vin, is braised with red wine, mushrooms, bacon and herbs until the meat is exceptionally moist and tender – the perfect dish for a cold winter evening.

“Four calling birds.”
Squab with Grapes & Brandy

Four petite squabs are roasted with fresh herbs and garlic, then served with a pan sauce made from brandy, grapes and a swirl of butter. It makes a unique and festive main course for your holiday table.

“Five golden rings.”
Acorn Squash Rings Glazed with Maple & Orange

Acorn squashes are cut into decorative rings and cooked with orange juice, orange zest, maple syrup and butter, which form a beautiful glaze. Pair this colorful side dish with your favorite roast.

“Six geese a-laying.”
Wilted Greens & Gruyere Frittata

Since we have no recipes for goose eggs, we chose this wonderful chicken-egg frittata. It’s laced with caramelized onions, Swiss chard and nutty-tasting Gruyère cheese – what could be better for a holiday brunch?

“Seven swans a-swimming.”
Roasted Sea Bass with Fennel, Blood Oranges & Olives

Fortunately, we don’t have any recipes for swans, so we selected a seafood dish (don’t fish swim under the swans?). Crimson blood oranges add a note of bright color to roasted sea bass that’s just right for the holidays.

“Eight maids a-milking.”
Peppermint Bark Ice Cream

Transform that milk (half-and-half, to be precise) into homemade vanilla ice cream, then stir in our famous peppermint bark for a festive crunch. Who says ice cream is only a summertime treat?

“Nine ladies dancing.”
Roasted Pork Loin with Quinces and Lady Apples

Those dancing ladies almost stumped us – until we found this recipe. Pork and fruit are always a winning combo, and here the meat gets a flavor boost from adorable Lady apples, which boast a sweet-tart taste.

“Ten lords a-leaping.”
Rabbit with Wild Herbs

What leaps? Frogs and rabbits (we opted for the latter). Be adventurous and try our recipe for rabbit, prepared in the style of Provence with lots of fresh herbs.

“Eleven pipers piping”
Lemon Sponge Cake

Use a pastry bag to pipe rich buttercream onto this citrusy sponge cake, forming a decorative topping. We’ll toot our horn for this dessert!

“Twelve drummers drumming.”
Sautéed Chicken in Riesling

And for the final verse: drumsticks rule! Some cooks believe the drumsticks are the most flavorful part of the bird. And who can argue with that, when the drumsticks are cooked in Riesling (a whole bottle!) along with mushrooms and fresh tarragon. A touch of cream enriches the sauce just before serving.