Fourth of July

Orange-Sesame Chicken Wings

March 22, 2016
Photo by Bobbi Lin
Author Notes

Every time I make these sticky, glazed wings—inspired by the flavors of classic orange chicken—my friends devour them. The sweetness of the orange is perfectly offset by umami-packed soy sauce, zippy Chinese black vinegar, toasty sesame oil, and a touch of heat from cayenne powder. I love serving them with quick-pickled cucumbers and a simple green salad. —Asha Loupy

Test Kitchen Notes

Don’t assume these are run-of-the-mill wings. Get some napkins—a lot of napkins, actually—because these wings are elevated! The sauce is complex, and while it favors the orange and sweet, these flavors balance equally with the sesame, soy, and vinegar. The wings were juicy and well-flavored, and the five-minute glaze at the end provided gorgeous caramelized bits. I’ll be making them again this weekend with a bit more heat. —Kacy Smith

  • Serves 4 to 6
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seed oil
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 3 pounds chicken wings, tips removed, cut in two pieces at the joint
In This Recipe
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, Chinese black vinegar, orange juice, sesame seed oil, and 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the garlic, ginger, orange zest, cayenne powder, and one tablespoon toasted sesame seeds. Add the chicken wings and toss to coat. Transfer wings and marinade to a gallon zip-top bag and refrigerate for 2 hours to overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place a wire baking rack on top. Remove the wings from the marinade, reserving the marinade for the glaze, and place the wings in a single layer on the prepared rack. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the wings are golden brown.
  3. While the wings are roasting, make the glaze: In a saucepan over medium heat, stir the reserved marinade and the remaining tablespoon of brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, until the glaze has reduced by about a third and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Remove the wings from the oven, brush both sides with the reserved glaze and return to the oven for another 5 minutes until the wings are caramelized and golden. Pile on a platter and garnish with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of toasted sesame seeds. Serve hot and enjoy!

See Reviews

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jasser Abu-Giemi
    Jasser Abu-Giemi
  • Terry Gray
    Terry Gray
  • Mark Thompson
    Mark Thompson
  • Asha Loupy
    Asha Loupy