Tuesday, November 8, 2011

30 Rock's Buffalo Chicken Shake

All that wingy deliciousness, now with significantly less of that annoying chewing.

As previously mentioned, WGN America invited me to New York for a 30 Rock Superfan roundtable last month. However, they had an ulterior motive for extending an invitation to this Superfan in particular -- three days before I flew out, WGN America issued me a challenge.

Make the Buffalo Chicken Shake.

You read that right -- the Buffalo Chicken Shake. It's from the beginning of the 30 Rock episode "Khonani." Liz Lemon sees a sign on the door of a restaurant that says "The Buffalo Chicken Shake Is Back!" It’s onscreen for maybe three seconds. I told WGN America that clearly when 30 Rock’s writers put that sign in the show, what they were doing was daring me to make the Buffalo Chicken Shake a real thing. I accepted the challenge.

Here’s the video from WGN America of me and 30 Rock writer Tracey Wigfield making the shake. Keep reading after for the recipe and how I came up with it.

I started working on the recipe for the Buffalo Chicken Shake by first giving myself two creative mandates:
  1. At its heart, this needed to be a milkshake in the purest sense -- ice cream plus milk in a blender.
  2. It had to have chicken in it. Not chicken stock or flavoring, but actual chicken.

Due to my timeframe, I had just one shot at a test run before going to New York. Despite never having made homemade ice cream before, I created a recipe for a buffalo sauce flavor. With all the ingredients mixed up, I put it in the freezer and hoped the ice cream would turn out okay. I would’ve also settled for “not poisonous.”

For incorporating the chicken, I gave brief consideration to pureeing it into the shake, but ultimately decided against that, because yuck. Instead, I used a whole fried chicken tender simply yet elegantly plunged into the center. Bonus feature: the unsauced end offers a place to grab the tender, so you can enjoy the Buffalo Chicken Shake on the go.

Once the buffalo sauce ice cream was ready, I blended it with milk, added the fried chicken tender, and garnished the milkshake with blue cheese and celery. Then I took a sip.

So how is the Buffalo Chicken Shake? Not bad. I wouldn't choose it over freshly made, right-out-of-the-kitchen wings, but I might choose it over leftover wings. It’d probably pair nicely with a bag of Liz Lemon's beloved Sabor de Soledad brand cheese curls.

If you think about it, buffalo sauce ice cream isn’t too much funkier than some of those artisan ice cream joints that make flavors with ingredients like cilantro, basil and ginger. Consider this a kind of creamy, spicy gazpacho.

Shaw and Dorsett both ate a full dish’s worth of the buffalo sauce ice cream. Here are the recipes for the ice cream and the milkshake.

Buffalo Sauce Ice Cream

This recipe makes enough ice cream for about two milkshakes, depending on the size of the cup they’re served in. Increase quantities as appropriate to make more. Your friends will thank you!

Warning #1! This ice cream is very spicy by itself. However, when you blend it with milk to make a milkshake, the heat gets cut significantly.

Warning #2! At the time we made the video, I was unaware that there are anchovies in Worcestershire sauce. If you do plan on making this for a vegetarian, be sure to use a brand of Worcestershire sauce that's vegetarian-friendly, or you can use this anchovy-free Worcestershire sauce recipe from Jenny Lewis.

  • 2/3 cup tomato juice
  • 2/3 cup buffalo wing sauce (the redder the better, as it’ll lose some color when blended with cream and milk)
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
  1. Use a blender to combine the blue cheese with the milk and heavy cream. Blend until smooth.
  2. Add the tomato juice, wing sauce and Worcestershire to the blue cheese mixture and combine thoroughly.
  3. Pour into a shallow dish, and place in the freezer.
  4. Wait 30 minutes and then stir, mixing the ice crystals that will form around the edges of the dish with the less frozen center.
  5. Continue stirring every 30 minutes, until you achieve a consistency somewhat approximating ice cream.

If you leave your ice cream unattended in the freezer overnight, it will freeze solid. That’s okay. Before making the shake, let the ice cream thaw for a little bit, until you can stir it again or scoop it with an ice cream scoop.

Again, this was my first go at making ice cream, so the consistency turned out a little more like ice milk than ice cream. I’m sure somebody like, say, the fine people at Glace could perfect my recipe, but it totally works for purposes of making the Buffalo Chicken Shake.

Buffalo Chicken Shake

  • Buffalo sauce ice cream
  • Milk
  • A fried chicken tender for each shake
  • Celery and blue cheese crumbles for garnish
  • Cups and straws
  1. Put 2 parts buffalo sauce ice cream and 1 part milk in a blender, and blend to your desired thickness.
  2. Pour the shake in a cup and place a fried chicken tender in the center. Add a straw, and garnish with celery and blue cheese.

We know that some people have made Cheesy Blasters using our recipe. If you make the Buffalo Chicken Shake, please let us know how it turns out!

And what TV foods do you think we should create recipes for next? We’re thinking about making the Rum Ham or Milk Steaks from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.


  1. Good christ, man. If you make milk steak, I want to be there to throw up.

  2. If a vegetarian is willing to ingest that much dairy forget their stupid dietary beliefs and give them a third of a third of a teaspoon of anchovies in the Worcestershire sauce... and also doesn't the fried chicken thing negate the whole vegetarian thing as well.

  3. My favorite part is when it got all romantic sharing a milkshake

  4. seriously? i heard about this episode at matt and ang's wedding...and it almost made me want to stop being a vegetarian. AMAZING!!

  5. How much vodka did you have to put in Shaw's shake? Robert, fantastic!