Chicken & Cauliflower Wings

?Are you ready for some football? Be sure to check out TCL cook Patty Morrissey’s chicken and cauliflower wing recipes for your next tailgate.

(Not Your Dad’s) Chicken Wings

Ingredients – Drumsticks

2 lbs. chicken drumsticks

Olive oil – enough to coat all the pieces

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika

1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder

1 ½ teaspoons onion powder

Mild Buffalo Wing Sauce


1/3 cup butter

¼ cup Frank’s hot sauce

¼ cup tomato sauce

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon cider vinegar

¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

½ teaspoon ancho or adobo chili powder

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Preheat oven to 400°. Prepare your oven grill pan (the two-piece combination that has the grate on top and the pan underneath with edges). Spray the top grate with cooking spray. Place the bottom of your grill pan in the oven and add several cups of warm water to the pan. The water will keep the meat moist and collect the hot oil so there is no smoke in your kitchen.
  • Using paper towel grab the chicken drumstick by the bone and pull the skin from the fat end of the drumstick down to the skinny bone end. Discard the skin. Cut into the meat of each drum stick three times around the drumstick. This will allow the oil and spices to penetrate the meat and will speed cooking. Faster cooking plus the addition of the water bath below means moister meat.
  • Mix oil and drumstick spices in a bowl. Add chicken drumsticks to the bowl and mix with your hands to penetrate the cuts in the meat. (You may want to wear gloves due to the cayenne pepper.)
  • Place drumsticks on your top grate and carefully place the grate onto your pan full of water in the hot oven. If you have to pull out the oven rack, use extreme caution and move slowly as hot water may splash.
  • While drumsticks are baking, add Mild Wing Sauce ingredients to a saucepan and bring to low boil, remove from heat.
  • Bake drumsticks for 30 minutes. No need to turn them. Your goal is a meat temperature of 185° with a thermometer.
  • Remove drumsticks carefully and place in a bowl. Coat with Mild Wing Sauce. Using tongs, return drumsticks to oven for 6 – 8 minutes. *
  • Serve with Blue Cheese Dressing and/or extra wing sauce.

*Variation – Coat half your wings in warmed Sweet BBQ sauce instead of the Mild Buffalo Wing Sauce, and return to the oven for 6-8 minutes.

Heavenly Chicken (Cauliflower) Wings

Ingredients (“Wings”)

1 head cauliflower

1 ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk; soy milk is also an option

¾ cup all-purpose flour *

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon white vinegar

* Variation – to make gluten free, change flour to 1 cup all purpose gluten free flour and add 1 teaspoon Xanthum Gum to the flour; mix.

Ingredients (Buffalo Sauce)

½ cup Frank’s Red Hot pepper sauce (Be Not Afraid – this will taste mellow when done)

½ cup butter *

½ teaspoon white vinegar

¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt

*Variation – use Earth Balance or Margarine for dairy-free or vegan preferences


  • Preheat oven to 450°. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray heavily with cooking spray.
  • Chop cauliflower in generous chunks, similar to the size of a chicken wing.
  • Mix milk and vinegar in a bowl and let sit for five minutes.
  • Add flour and garlic powder to the milk, stir with a fork or whisk to combine ingredients and get the big lumps broken up.
  • Dip each chunk of cauliflower in the milk/flour mixture, covering all sides. Tap off the excess coating and place on the pan. “Wings” should have some space between them. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. “Wings” will brown some but don’t worry if they’re not the color of a chicken wing quite yet.
  • While cauliflower “wings” are baking combine ingredients for Buffalo Sauce in a small sauce pan and bring to a low boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Remove “wings” from the oven. Use the tongs to dip the “wings” into the hot sauce mixture one at a time; coat all sides. Return the “wings” to the baking pan and bake for another 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Serve with Vegan Blue Cheese dressing.

Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing


1 cup veganaise (vegan mayonnaise)

¼ block extra firm tofu

½ teaspoon tahini (sesame seed paste) Can skip if you wish but it punches the flavor

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar


  • Mix all ingredients except tofu. Add additional lemon juice and vinegar until you get the creaminess and consistency you’re looking for in your wing dip.
  • Crumble the tofu into the mixture, stir. The tofu delivers the lumps people expect with blue cheese dressing and adds some nice protein too.
  • Serve with wings. Great with fresh veggies too.
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