Duck is not a traditional food in Goa, as far as we know, but we thought it would make a wonderful vindaloo, and so it does. (For more about the vindaloo tradition, see Goan Pork Vindaloo.) The sake, vodka, or Chinese rice wine are our suggested substitutes for the traditional local liquor called feni.
This vindaloo has heat, but it’s not overwhelming. It makes a great main dish for a dinner party because it can be made ahead, giving the flavors even more time to blend. Start a day ahead—the duck has the most flavor if it marinates for 12 to 24 hours, though you can get away with less (4 to 5 hours) if pressed for time.
Strip most of the skin and fat off the duck and set aside (for how to render fat, see Oils and Fats in the Glossary). Use a cleaver to cut the duck into pieces, leaving the meat on the bone; we usually cut the thighs as well as drumsticks into two pieces, and we cut the breasts into pieces slightly smaller than
To prepare the spice paste using a spice/coffee grinder, place the dried chiles and the whole spices in the grinder and reduce to a powder. Turn out into a small bowl and add the ground cloves, if using. Add the garlic, ginger, and
Stir the sugar into the spice paste. Add the spice paste to the bowl with the duck and turn and stir to coat the meat. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 12 hours, or as long as 24 hours, whatever is most convenient.
Heat the remaining
Serve with rice and a mild or slightly sweet side dish, such as Pea Shoots for a Crowd, Cauliflower Dum, or Aromatic Pumpkin and Coconut, as well as a plate of crisp sliced cucumbers and some of Zinet’s Young Ginger Pickle.
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