Orange-Glazed Chicken Wings

I am always on the look-out for finger food ideas. I don't throw too many dinner parties, but when I do, it's nice to have food to distract my guests from noticing my often lack of preparedness, that I'm still chopping, thawing, and menu-planning in the kitchen. Alcohol can do only so much.

Baked chicken wings are a universal favorite, and there's no shortage of easy ways to prepare them. Glazed with teriyaki sauce. Sprinkled with five-spice powder. Curried. Buffaloed. Doused with five types of five-alarm chili sauces.

This recent preparation from my kitchen is a fruity take, blending orange juice, garlic, and soy sauce for a heady citrus fragrance and flavor.Β  Although I reduced the marinating liquid and brushed it on for an extra layer of glaze, the wings and drummettes didn't turn out as sticky as I thought they would. All the better for digging in with your hands, and ignoring your hostess in the kitchen sweating bullets over the main course.

Orange-Glazed Chicken Wings

1 cup fresh orange juice (from about 2 oranges) 2 tablespoons grated orange zest 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon sugar 2 pounds chicken wings or drummettes 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 400Β°. In a large bowl, mix together orange juice, orange zest, garlic, soy sauce, and sugar. Add the chicken wings and toss to coat. Chill in fridge for 2 to 3 hours, or overnight for a more intense flavor.

Grease a large baking tray with olive oil. Spread wings on tray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. (Reserve the marinating liquid and set aside.) Bake wings for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, on the stove, simmer the reserved orange marinating liquid until reduced by half, about 6 to 8 minutes. Spoon half the reduced sauce over the wings, turn over, then baste with the rest of the sauce. Bake another 20 minutes until done. Plate and serve.