This post was created as in partnership with Imperial Sugar. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.
These crispy baked Orange Chicken Wings are tossed in a sticky, citrusy orange glaze for a sweet and savory match made in heaven. Serve them up for an easy dinner, your next football party, or any time you want a snack or appetizer that everyone will love.
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One of our family's favorite take-out inspired dinners is Orange Chicken, so when I found myself with a bunch of chicken wings in the freezer and no idea what to do with them, I decided to take that inspiration and come up with a fun appetizer-y recipe with the same flavors!
It was no surprise that my husband and kids LOVED these wings that turned out perfectly crispy from baking in the oven on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. It's my favorite technique for getting the meat on the wings tender and juicy with a crisp exterior without resorting to frying them in oil.
And the sauce comes together in about 10 minutes, so these are quick and easy to finish off before guests show up for any kind of gathering. I know you're going to love them!
This is a quick overview of some of the important ingredients you'll need for this recipe. Specific measurements and full recipe instructions are in the printable recipe card below.
- Chicken wings - We used both wings and the mini chicken drummettes
- Oranges - We're using fresh squeezed orange juice and orange zest for a vibrant, fresh citrus flavor.
- Brown sugar - I love the depth and sweetness this ingredient gives to the sauce.
- Soy sauce - For that umami element that makes these wings so irresistible.
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Red pepper flakes (optional)
- Cornstarch - This is for thickening the glaze so it coats the wings better.
How to Make Orange Glazed Chicken Wings
This is a quick overview with step-by-step images to help you visualize the process.
Bake the chicken wings. Start by patting the chicken pieces dry and placing them on a wire rack set over a large baking sheet, skin side up. They will bake at a 425 degrees F for 40-50 minutes until they are cooked through and the skin is crispy on top. You can flip them partway through if you would like, but I have found it doesn't make that huge of a difference and it's kind of a pain, so I always skip that part.
Line the bottom of your baking sheet with aluminum foil for easier cleanup after baking chicken wings.
Make the glaze. In a small saucepan, combine the orange juice, orange zest, soy sauce, brown sugar, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using). Heat over medium-high heat until it comes to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook until the liquid has reduced by half.
Thicken the glaze. In a small, separate bowl, whisk the cornstarch together with an equal amount of cold water, then drizzle into the reduced orange juice mixture on the stovetop. Continue to cook and stir for 1-2 minutes until slightly thickened, then pour over the cooked chicken wings in a bowl and toss to coat.
This isn't an overly thick or gloopy sauce, just a light glaze, but you can double the amount of cornstarch slurry if you would like your glaze thicker. Keep in mind that the glaze will continue to thicken as you toss it with the chicken pieces and as it cools.
For the FULL RECIPE be sure to visit Imperial Sugar's site.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Don't rinse. There is no need to rinse your chicken wings before cooking them. In fact, the FDA recommends against rinsing chicken because of the risk of spreading bacteria in the process.
- Pat dry. Be sure to pat the chicken dry with paper towels, especially if it is particularly juicy. Too much moisture can steam the chicken, resulting in more rubbery skin. Patting the skin dry helps the chicken wings crisp up better while they cook.
- Don't overly thicken the sauce. We actually preferred these with just a light glaze rather than a thick sauce. Because chicken wings don't always have a ton of meat on each piece, it's easy to go overboard with the glaze so that's the only thing you taste. But you can double the cornstarch slurry to thicken the glaze more if you would like.
What to Serve With Chicken Wings
When serving as an appetizer, chicken wings are often paired with crunchy celery sticks or carrots and a ranch or bleu cheese dressing for dipping. But don't forget to serve them for a tasty dinner every now and then as a change from your regular chicken breasts or chicken thighs! Here are some of the things we pair them with for a dinner menu:
- White rice or brown rice
- A nice caesar salad or wedge salad
- A crusty loaf of bread
- Twice baked potatoes
- Steamed or roasted broccoli, green beans, or other veggies
Like most wings, these are best the day they are made while the skin is still crispy because they tend to lose some of that texture the next day. But if you have leftover wings, they will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days in an airtight container. To reheat, transfer to an oven safe pan and warm in a 350 degree F oven for 10-15 minutes until heated through.
Be sure to stop by Imperial Sugar's site for the FULL RECIPE. I have partnered with them now for a few years and love their products for my baking needs!
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