Cocoa Nib-Crusted Liberty Duck

Pairs Well With


  • 6 each Liberty or locally farmed fresh duck breasts, tenderloin and sinew removed
  • 1 pound duck confit (found in gourmet grocers such as Whole Foods or Dean & Deluca)
  • 2 ounces cocoa nibs, crushed lightly
  • 4 ounces dried Goji berries
  • 6 ounces toasted salted cashews
  • 4 heads red endive, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces granola (use a good quality, dried raspberry variety)
  • 1 tablespoon honey, wildflower or lavender
  • 4 ounces Pinot Noir (Merry Edwards of course!)
  • 1 ounce sugar
  • 2 ounces red wine vinegar
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


First make the pickled goji berries. In a small sauce pot, combine the sugar, vinegar, Pinot Noir and goji berries; bring to a boil then remove from the heat. Place ½ the pickled goji berries and some of the cooking liquid in the blender and puree for 1 minute until smooth; using more liquid as need to make a smooth paste. Once pureed place in a squeeze bottle. Keep the remaining whole goji berries separated for later use.

Next, make the Duck Confit Granola Bar. Start by removing cooked and chilled duck confit from the fat and cut the meat into 6 even rectangles, removing the bones and remaining fat. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the pickled goji berries, granola, honey and ¼ of the cocoa nibs and mix together. Place the granola on the confit to make a layer in the shape of a “bar.” Bake in the oven for 4-6 minutes at 350°F, or until the granola starts to toast; reserve at room temperature for later use.

Now it’s time to make the duck breasts. Once the breasts have been cleaned, start by making several slits across the fat, this will help release some of the fat as it cooks.Season with crushed cocoa nibs, Kosher salt and fresh pepper.

In a medium pan over low to moderate heat, add a little olive oil then place the duck fat side down and render the fat out slowly, this will take about 5-7 minutes. Once the fat has turned golden brown, finish cooking to rare-medium rare on the flesh side. When the duck is cooked, remove from the heat and place in a warm area for later use.

When you’re ready for plating, in a medium bowl combine the pickled goji berries, cashews and cut endive; season with salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil. Lightly rewarm the confit “bar” in the oven as the serving plates are warming up. Begin by making a “swoosh” and a couple of artistic dots with the goji berry puree. Place a little pile of the salad off to the side of the dish and place the “bar” on the opposite side. Now slice the duck breast into 7 even slices and place on top the salad. Repeat with the remaining plates then enjoy the fruits of your labor!

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