Girl of the Vindalost
The recipe calls for skinning the duck and cutting the duck into 8 serving pieces. This took me nearly an hour. Duck is very hard to cut up - the bones are much stronger than chicken bones, and they're put together in an odd way. At least once the skin was off, I could see better what I was cutting into. The one other time Dean and I ever tried to cook a duck was before we were married, when we roasted one, and had no idea what we were doing. I remember him trying to carve it like a chicken, and encountering bone everywhere he tried. And as he struggled over the bird, grease was pouring off of it and overflowing the platter, until I finally yelled at him to stop because he was ruining my tablecloth!
With the help of the biggest, sharpest knife we own, I finally got the thing cut up and put it into a pot to stew with some cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. It smelled very nice when it was done, then I drained it and put it aside.
The real "vindaloo" stuff came next, and I accurately put together the spice paste with vinegar, onions and hot peppers (from our garden!) all pureed together in the blender. The grand moment for assembling the dish came, I put everything together with the duck, and then put it in the oven to cook on the slow cooking setting. This was when I made my fatal error: I put everything in an aluminum pot!.
I came back from my afternoon bus route and checked on the vindaloo. The duck was soft, but there was an odd smell coming from it...a metallic smell. I tasted it...metallic taste. Then I realized that all the vinegar had reacted with the aluminum and produced...this. I moved it to another dish to cool off, hoping things might get better when it was cooler, but actually it was worse. When I tasted a bit of duck, it was like chewing on a piece of aluminum foil.
I had to phone Dean at work and tell him, as Basil Fawlty would say, 'Duck is off', and he'd have to come up with something for supper. "Help us, Obi-Dean Kenobi; you're our only hope!" As he saw this as an invitation to fire up the barbecue and cook some steaks, he took it pretty well.
Now I'm scheming to retry this experiment, only with pork next time, because it's equally authentic and would be much easier to prepare. Only I'll get out my enamelled pot to cook it in, and not make the same error twice.