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If its Christmas in France, then The Cook and Kitchen Staff must prepare for you the main course of the Reveillon, the holiday feast. One of the grandest meals of the entire year in France, it is most often served on Christmas Eve. There is no one and only, traditional Reveillon dinner to prepare, as courses vary widely from region to region. French families love good food at Christmastime, and for that matter, of course, the year round. Rather than serving five or six courses with large quantities of each, the French prefer smaller helpings of a dozen or so different dishes. The Reveillon is not a meal to be gobbled down between the half-time of a football game; it is a banquet that goes on for hours as the diners savor the goodness of the meal and the company of good friends and family. Along with todays main course, you may find red cabbage, Duchess potatoes with peas, a remoulade salad, and rillettes served at the French holiday table. Dinner is almost always completed with strong coffee, Cointreau and Cognac, and the sponge-cake Yule log. Take your time and enjoy a French Christmas this year; its a sure way to make the holiday spirit linger through the day. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the vermouth and beef bouillon to a boil. Place prunes into the boiling liquid, cover, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook slowly for about 10 minutes or until the prunes are just tender and plump. Drain and cool the prunes, making sure to reserve the liquid. Wash the goose thoroughly, inside and out. Dry well. Remove any excess fat from the cavity of the goose and mince the liver if you have not already done so. In a small skillet over medium heat, saute the minced goose liver and onion in a single tablespoon of butter for about 2 minutes. Scrape the sauteed mixture from the skillet into a large mixing bowl. Add one-third cup of the port wine to the same skillet and boil, reducing down to about two tablespoons of liquid and scraping the skillet to deglaze. Add the reduced port wine to the same large mixing bowl with the sauteed liver and onions. Add the pate, allspice, thyme, salt, and pepper. Mix the ingredients thoroughly. Add the bread crumbs and mix again. saute the apples in the remaining tablespoon of butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Add the sauteed apples and the drained prunes to the stuffing mixture at the same time, stirring gently so the prunes remain whole. Pre-heat the oven to 325-F degrees. Salt the goose cavity lightly and stuff the goose loosely with the prune mixture. Sew up and truss the goose. Roast, uncovered, for about 16 minutes per pound of the gooses weight. Do not prick or baste the goose, as the skin retains much of the moisture and basting is not required. continued in part 2
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