Love Chicken Wings? Try These Easy Orange-Sesame Chicken Wings

Inviting some pals over to hang out can quickly turn stressful when you realize they’re going to expect some food. Before you reach for your phone to order delivery, take a few deep breaths. Homemade eats don’t have to be difficult. With original recipes from our Everyday Appetizers series, you can pull off show-stopping starters without losing your cool. 

Restaurants that cater to the sports crowd have a dirty little secret: Their inventive chicken wing recipes are just as easy to make at home. On top of that, chicken wings are seriously inexpensive at the store, so you can make enough to feed a crowd for about the same amount of money you’d spend on just yourself at the bar. We suggest you rectify the situation by making these orange-sesame wings. You don’t even need to wait for the next game.

About this recipe

close-up of orange-sesame chicken wings

Orange-sesame chicken wings | Christine Skopec/Culture Cheat Sheet

Generally speaking, fried food is pretty easy to make at home. You just need a big pot, a decent thermometer, and plenty of oil. Chicken wings are one of the few exceptions. Though fried versions are definitely delicious, you have to be pretty careful about how many you cook at a time. Overcrowding the pot causes the temperature to drop and the skin just won’t crisp the way it should. Fortunately, the solution is as simple as using your oven. It takes longer, but this method renders the fat slowly, allowing the skin to get perfectly crispy.

profile of a plate of orange-sesame chicken wings

Platter of orange-sesame chicken wings | Christine Skopec/Culture Cheat Sheet

Let’s talk sauce. This orange-sesame rendition is full of flavor, sweet without being cloying, and just a bit spicy. That being said, you can easily adapt it. Up the honey if you like things sweeter or squeeze in more Sriracha if you prefer wings with a serious kick. The one thing you definitely don’t want to skip is the orange zest. It sounds minor, but this ingredient adds a surprising amount of orange flavor. This is true for the rind on any citrus fruit, too. Bon Appétit actually suggests using zest in tons of ways you’ve probably never considered before.

For the actual cooking, you’ll want to preheat the oven and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Using parchment paper pretty much guarantees the skin on the wings won’t stick when you go to flip them. Once you toss the wings with a bit of oil and a pretty hefty pinch of salt, arrange them on the baking sheet, making sure there’s plenty of space between each. This slightly finicky step will help each wing come out golden and crispy.

Now for the best news, the cooking process is about as low maintenance as it gets. Bake for 25 minutes, flip, and bake for another 25 minutes. This gives you plenty of time to whip up the sauce, which is just a matter of reducing some orange juice, adding the remaining ingredients, and letting it reduce. Once your wings are out of the oven, grab the biggest bowl you have in your kitchen. Toss the wings with your sauce, plate up, sprinkle on your garnishes, then eat immediately. We only wish this recipe came complete with moist towelettes.

Orange-Sesame Chicken Wings

a small plate filled with orange-sesame chicken wings

Individual serving of orange-sesame chicken wings | Christine Skopec/Culture Cheat Sheet

This recipe makes enough for four people, but you can easily double it. If you do, make sure to switch the position of the pans and rotate both of them halfway through.


  • 2 pounds chicken wings, wing tips discarded, separated into flats and drumettes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • Salt
  • ¾ cup fresh orange juice plus ½ teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1½ tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • Sliced scallions

Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss wings with oil and season generously with salt. Arrange on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake until fat renders and wings are golden and cooked through, about 50 minutes, flipping wings and rotating baking sheet halfway through.

Meanwhile, add orange juice to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and let cook until reduced by two-thirds, about 5 minutes. Add orange zest, ginger, honey, Sriracha, and sesame oil. Season with salt and continue to cook until beginning to thicken, about 1 minute longer. Remove from heat.

When wings are done, transfer to a large bowl. Add the orange-sesame sauce and toss to coat. Transfer to a platter and garnish with sesame seeds and scallions. Serve at once.

Follow Christine on Twitter @christineskopec