Wings were one of those things I used to eat at pubs, alongside a cold beer, usually among friends. We would scarf down 10-chickens-worth at a time, thinking nothing of it.
I still haven’t found a perfect substitute for chicken wings, but this cauliflower buffalo wings recipe by Hot For Food is pretty close. I found them too spicy, even just using Frank’s, but I’ve had some success with BBQ sauce instead.
1 head of cauliflower (approx. 4-5 cups of florets)
1/2 C unsweetened non-dairy milk (almond or soy work best)
1/2 C water
3/4 C all-purpose flour (can sub gluten-free rice flour)
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp of paprika
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 tbsp earth balance buttery spread
1 C frank’s red hot sauce
NOTE: you can substitute half and half bbq and hot sauce or use 1 cup of just bbq sauce for bbq wings.
Line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 450 F.
Wash and cut cauliflower head into bite sized pieces/florets.
Mix all the ingredients (minus the earth balance and hot sauce, this is added separately!) into a mixing bowl.
Lay florets in an even layer on the parchment lined baking sheet without over crowding.
NOTE: parchment paper or a silpat mat is essential in preventing the batter from coming off throughout baking! We’ve tried oiling the baking sheets and they tend to stick. You need parchment paper!
Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown, flipping the florets over half way through to get all sides golden brown and crispy.
While the cauliflower is baking get your wing sauce ready. In a small saucepan on low heat melt earth balance and mix in hot sauce. Remove from the heat just as it starts to melt. Stir together and set aside.
Once the cauliflower is done it’s first bake in the batter, remove them from the oven and put all the baked florets into a mixing bowl with the wing sauce and toss to coat evenly, or you can do this in smaller batches. Then spread all the florets in wing sauce out onto the same baking sheet. Bake in the oven for another 25 minutes, flipping the florets over half way through.
NOTE: using gluten-free rice flour may vary bake time and everyone’s oven is different. Watch the florets at both stages and adjust bake time accordingly!