Wings typically need no further explanation.
A mention, and we picture buffalo-style chicken wings ready for a swipe through blue cheese dressing. But Cleveland Park's Ripple has redefined the genre, serving rich, fried wings made from duck.
When he took the helm at Ripple, chef Logan Cox resolved to buy and use whole animals. When Cox serves duck, he cooks breasts, legs, a robust stock, and the wings as an occasional special.
Duck wings are tough, so Cox brines them for three weeks in juniper, clove and other spices. Next, he confits them for 10 hours.
A quick dip in the fryer readies each now-crisped wing for XO-style sauce, spiced with a Padrón pepper purée, soy sauce and honey. Cox adds texture by coating the now-sticky wings in chopped peanuts and cilantro.
The meaty, pepper-spiced wings ($13 for eight) pack a generous, slow-building heat. The restaurant supplies cardamom-seasoned Greek yogurt as a foil, but a cold pilsner also cuts the intensity.
It takes about a month to round up enough wings, and once they're available, orders sell quickly. Cox adds his newest batch to the menu tonight, so we suggest going, well, now.
Ripple, 3417 Connecticut Ave. NW (between Macomb & Ordway sts.); 202-244-7995 or rippledc.com
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