In 1970, Takeshi Okawara, the manager of Japan's first ever Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise, made history by marketing the American chain's fried chicken "party barrels" as the quintessential Christmas dinner. It's now impossible to go anywhere in Japan during December without being bombarded by imagery of Colonel Sanders in a Santa hat.

For the largely secular population of Japan who look at Christmas as more of a date night than a significant holiday – it's a charming novelty. However, for some expats — unable to travel and missing the comforts and flavors of home — it's an unsatisfying substitute for a heartwarming and hearty meal.

For those looking to re-create a holiday dinner in their compact Japanese kitchens devoid of an oven or other equipment more typical in a Western kitchen and feeling overwhelmed, fear not: There is a way.