Crispy Vegan Wings in Hot & Buttery Buffalo Sauce


Maybe we teased you with the molasses cookies at the beginning of the month, as that may have led you on to believe that December was going to be full of cozy Holiday recipes to share with your family & friends at potlucks. But heck, why shouldn’t wings be apart of your Christmas dinner? I’m confident that more than half the people at your dinner table would rather be eating deep-fried, comforting buffalo wings than overcooked green beans and grandma’s Sahara dessert turkey. All things considered, we don’t really care what tradition says; it’s December and we want wings!

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Let’s take a quick step back real quick. If you’ve been following us for over a year, 1. you the real MVP and 2. you may remember our cauliflower wing recipe from February. In which case, you might be wondering why we’d post two almost-identical dishes in the same year. The main answer to that question is: back in February, we were very limited as to what ingredients we’d use on the blog: no wheat, mostly no soy, only chilis with the skins removed, no vegan butter, and so on. Now, in December, we use whatever it takes to achieve the best texture and flavor we can get. On top of that, we’ve become quite familiar with the in’s and out’s of deep frying since then, meaning we’ve got a better grasp of batters, dredges, oils, and temperature-control, which makes a world of difference in the final product.

That being said, let’s take a look at what makes this recipe buffalo wing perfection:

1. We used soy meat in place of cauliflower, which obviously gives the wings a more realistic texture. Not only that, we used vegan chicken drumsticks, which is one of the scariest meat-replacements I’ve had to date; they’re meaty, slightly stringy, tender, and their flavor is just spot-on. Where can you find them? Well, you’ll have the best luck if you live in a vegan mega-center like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, or Seattle, in which case you can check the frozen vegetarian section of local Oriental markets or a specialty vegetarian store. If you aren’t so lucky however, there’s still hope; simply use any soy chicken you can find at an American grocery store, just as long as it’s not breaded. Gardein’s Chick’n Scallopini can be cut into nice, sizable pieces and fried up like boneless wings, but you could also go for Beyond Meat or Gardein chicken strips.

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2. Number two, instead of a full-on wet batter like we used for our cauliflower wings, here we used a simple wet to dry dredge, which creates a thinner, sturdier, and crispier layer of crust without overwhelming the chicken in a puffy, dough-like batter. This style of dredge also stays crisper longer than wet batters.

3. That sauce though. Real vegan butter (that’s a funny statement, isn’t it?) is way better than the butter-flavored coconut oil we were using before. These days we use Melt, which is a rich & full-flavored butter replacement, and because buffalo sauce is predominately butter & hot sauce, it’s important to use one that has good flavor and consistency. The hot sauce you choose is up to you; you can use Tapatio, Louisiana Hot Sauce, Tabasco, or whatever you have on hand really. Albeit, after a little internet search, we found that almost everyone’s go-to sauce for buffalo wings is Frank’s Red Hot, which is a thick & mild hot sauce. In fact, Frank’s Red Hot is a bit like wing sauce all on its own, so for that reason, we used a medium-spice wing sauce in our buffalo sauce. Sauce inception? Maybe, but it creates a killer final product.

Alright, you guys are wing pros now, right? Cool, then let’s get to the recipe! But first, a bulleted list. These wings are:

  • Crispy, tender, and meaty
  • Buttery, mildly spiced, and mouth-watering
  • Simple and quick to make
  • Reminiscent of dive-bar buffalo wings
  • Vegan

If you like what your tastebuds are tellin’ ya, leave behind a nice rating, share your thoughts with us in the comments, or show us your creations by tagging @noeggsorham on Instagram.

Be Fly. Eat Wings.

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Crispy Vegan Wings Tossed in Hot & Buttery Buffalo Sauce

  • Servings: 2; 10 drumsticks
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

Classic buffalo wings, perfected.

Ingredients

Wings

  • 14 oz soy chicken, drumsticks or two-bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • Heavy pinch of salt 
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp Vegan Egg powder by Follow Your Heart
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  • 1/2 gallon refined oil, for frying (canola, coconut, soy, or shortening all work well)

Sauce

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large dutch oven, heavy-bottomed pot, or electric deep-fryer over high heat until temperature reaches 360° F.
  2. While oil heats up, whisk together flour, paprika, onion powder, and a heavy pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together vegan egg powder and cold water until smooth.
  3. Toss chicken with egg mixture until evenly coated. Transfer chicken to flour mixture and toss to coat again. Set up a draining rig and bowl with chicken in it next to the deep-fryer.
  4. Brush off any excess flour that may be hanging on to the chicken and add five drumsticks (or half the chicken) to the oil. Cook, stirring around occasionally, until the bubbling slows down significantly and the outside is brown & crispy; 8-9 minutes. Transfer to draining rig and repeat for second half of chicken.
  5. Note: monitor your heat carefully to try and maintain a temperature of 350-360° F.
  6. While chicken fries, combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small pot or large wok (if you have it) over medium heat until butter melts and sauce begins to bubble lightly.
  7. Once the first batch of wings come out, add them to a wok, toss until coated, and serve while fresh; there’ll still be enough sauce to coat the second batch. If you don’t have a wok, toss the chicken with half of the sauce in a large bowl. Repeat with second batch of wings. Best while fresh!

*The amount of hot sauce you use depends on the spice-level of your hot sauce and how spicy you want your sauce to be. We used medium-spiced wing sauce, which is mild compared to Tabasco or Louisiana hot sauce, so we used 3 tbsps for our batch. However, if you’re using a more potent hot sauce, try out 2 tbsps first!

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