Kentucky Fried Cauli Wings
You know the world’s a changin’ when KFC releases a plant-based chicken on its menu. Incidentally, Mr Sanders and I must be intuitively in sync, as just one week prior to their announcement, I had ticked my bucket-list goal of making a chicken-free version of KFC’s prime showpiece.
Whilst you could head along to your local K-fry and try their new offering (it’s not yet in NZ, but one day I’m sure it will be), in the meantime – give my healthier heart-friendlier happier home-made version a try.
Split into florets, then dunked in a thick spicy batter, they look remarkably like chicken wings or drumsticks. Mila even asked me – “so mummy, is this animal chicken…?” We’ve had to differentiate between animal and vegetarian cheese, chicken, and sausages of late.“No darling, this is vegetarian chicken, not made from animals”. And so she devoured the lot.
There’s a knack though to making these pop though. Like our meatier predecessor, we want a moist tender inner, whilst retaining that crispy crunchy fried outside.
The key? Make your oven hot hot hot, before you start! Put it on the highest setting, make sure it’s completely pre-heated right to the top temp, then swiftly slide your tray of nibbles inside, refraining from opening the oven half way to “check” on them (like me – I’m taste-testing right?).
You can then switch it to the high-grill for a few minutes at the end, to brown them off, if you feel the need.
The result… Crunchy, moreish, ‘chiggin’ wings, which you can then dip at will in this deliciously garlicky lemon-infused aioli. They taste every bit as good as their counterpart. Better even!
Shall we Colonel? You might even feel inclined to watch the super bowl while you’re at it.
PS Don’t skip the slaw on the side – Kentucky Fried Cauli Wings, let’s go!
Kentucky Fried Cauli Wings
- 1 cauliflower cut into florets
- 2 c water
- 1 1/2 c chickpea flour (besan)
- 2 tomato (or 1/2 red capsicum)
- 1 onion
- 6 cloves garlic
- 16 drops black pepper essential oil
- 2 tbsp tapioca flour (arrowroot or cornflour)
- 3 tsp smoked paprika
- 3 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp chilli powder or 1/2 red chilli
- 1 drop liquid smoke
- Preheat oven to the highest setting (you want it be really hot when you put your wings in so they come some crunchy). In a blender, add all the ingredients (minus the cauliflower and sesame seeds) and blitz until smooth and creamy. In a bowl, add the mixture to the cauliflowers so all the florets are covered. Grease a non-stick tray with coconut oil. Place the florets in, making sure there is a bit of space between each of them and they are not touching. Sprinkle over sesame seeds and bake for 12 minutes or until they are crispy and golden brown.
Lemon Garlic Aioli
- Add all the ingredients in a blender, minus the lemon essential oil. Blitz until smooth, then add the lemon essential oil and blend again for a few more seconds. Serve as a side with the Kentucky Fried Cauliflower Wings and your choice of salad (I went for the classic coleslaw). Dig in!
- These ‘wings’ are super yummy. I recommend doubling the coating recipe and popping the mix into a jar. It will last in the fridge for a week and you can enjoy this delish meal all over again.
- I went lighter on the spices. If you prefer a bit of a kick add in some more chilli powder
- Make the aioli ahead of time and leave it overnight to fully set in the fridge. Although it still taste just as delicious when made, the aioli thickens when cooled and goes perfect with the freshly oven roasted cauli wings.
- It’s so important to make sure that your oven temperature is really high when the florets go in. This is what will make them super crispy…and no opening the oven for taste testers either (I know it’s tempting).
- Use the leaves and stalks of the cauliflower as well. No waste.