Deliciously spicy-sweet, my spicy orange chicken wings are bursting with the flavors we love in orange chicken, one of our favorite take out foods. A fun and finger-licking little appetizer, my spicy orange chicken wings recipe is prepared with chicken drumettes coated in a homemade, mildly spicy orange sauce, then baked off until charred and crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside!
When Orange Chicken Meets Chicken Wings
Though it's been a little while since we've indulged in the classic strip mall Chinese food, we still find it an irresistible from time to time.
My hubby and I usually get orange chicken, that delectably sticky and crispy chicken dish that's coated in a glossy orange sauce with a mouthwateringly sweet-savory kick.
And because we're also suckers for juicy and crispy-skinned chicken wings, I figured that taking the flavors we love in classic orange chicken and adding them to my homemade baked chicken wings would be a scrumptious way to go!
The perfect little appetizer or light meal, these spicy orange chicken wings are first marinated in some deliciously aromatic ingredients, then baked off at a high temperature to create crispy skin yet a tender, juicy and flavorful interior before a toss in my simple orange sauce.
These spicy orange chicken wings are such a treat to serve up on game day or as part of a get-together, or even to make a light meal out of when paired with white rice or salad!
My Recipe for Spicy Orange Chicken Wings
I love how simple and fun these homemade chicken wings are to prepare, not to mention how tasty they are to nibble on!
Part of what makes them so darned irresistible is how flavorful they are, and that's because they get a bit of a marination before they're even baked off...
To create lots of Asian-inspired flavor for these orange chicken wings, I start by marinating them in soy sauce, garlic and freshly-grated ginger. This marination gives each bite a little added burst of flavor, making for a juicy and scrumptious interior.
And to get that extra crispy skin without frying?
I simply crank up my oven to 450°, place the marinated chicken drumettes (the uppermost part of the chicken wing) onto a wire rack placed over a baking sheet, and allow them to bake up for about twenty eight minutes until they get that delectable char, with little crispy bits.
There's even more fun to be had when tossing them in my mildly spicy orange glaze made with fresh orange juice, soy sauce honey, ginger, garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes for just the right balance of tangy-sweet, savory and spicy.
These taste just like our favorite orange chicken takeout!
Here's a sneak peek at my spicy orange chicken wings recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I add my chicken drumettes to a bowl and add my ingredients to marinate for at least 20 minutes, or even overnight if making ahead.
- Next, I prepare my spicy orange glaze to have ready and on hand, and keep that warm.
- Then, I bake my chicken wings at a high temp for roughly 28 minutes, until crispy and charred.
- When done baking, I then toss the wings in my orange glaze, place onto a platter, and garnish with sesame seeds and scallions.
Spicy Orange Chicken Wings
by Ingrid Beer
These spicy orange chicken wings are the appetizer version of orange chicken, perfectly sweet and savory with a bit of kick!
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 689 calories per serving
Prep Time: 20 minutes (does not include marination)
Cook time: 28 minutes
Total time: 48 minutes
Chicken Wing Ingredients:
- 2 ½ pounds organic chicken drumettes (or wings)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
- Scallions, for garnish
Spicy Orange Sauce Ingredients:
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- ¼ cup plus 1tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your chicken wings ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- Place the drumettes (and wings, if using) into a large bowl, and toss together thoroughly with the soy sauce, the garlic, and the ginger. Marinate for at least 2 hours, or for best flavor results, overnight.
- While the chicken marinates, gather and prep all of your spicy orange glaze ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- To prepare the sauce, add all ingredients into a small saucepan and whisk to completely blend and to dissolve the cornstarch.
- Place over medium heat and bring to the simmer, whisking occasionally, until glossy and thickened. Remove from heat and allow to slightly cool before tossing the wings in the sauce.
- To bake the chicken wings, preheat the oven to 450° and line a baking sheet with foil, and top with a rack if you have one. Place the chicken pieces evenly onto the rack with some space between them (if you don't have a rack, place directly onto the foil in a single layer), and bake on the center/lower rack of the oven for 28 minutes.
- After 28 minutes, turn the broiler on high, and broil for 2 minutes until crispy, and charred golden-brown.
- To finish, toss the wings in the spicy orange chicken sauce to coat, place onto a serving platter, then sprinkle over some sesame seeds and scallions, and serve while hot.
Tips & Tidbits for my Spicy Orange Chicken Wings recipe:
- Use drumettes for meatier texture: Whenever I prepare any homemade chicken wings, I love to use drumettes, the uppermost part of a chicken wing—there's a lot of good meat there. You can also use a combination of traditional wing pieces mixed with drumettes as well, if desired.
- Marinate for an extra flavorful and juicy interior: An easy marinade of soy sauce, ginger and garlic gives so much depth of flavor to these chicken wings, and just makes each bite super delicious. Allow for at least a 20 minute marination time, ideally a couple of hours, or even overnight if making ahead.
- Easy sweet-savory orange glaze: This orange glaze is not super spicy, but rather has a bit of a kick. And because I use red pepper flakes, those can be adjusted to create more spiciness or less, depending on your preference. The orange glaze can even be made a couple of days ahead for convenience.
Craving more cozy and mouthwatering appetizers? Check out these Crispy Baked Chicken Wings Tandoori Style, this Vietnamese Fried Chicken, these Potato Chip Chicken Strips, these Coconut Crunch Chicken Strips!
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2017, and has been updated with even more love!