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Jul 11, 2011 05:25 AM

Quailsquaducken in LA?

A Henan restaurant in NYC, Unlce Zhou, is serving up this dish and I was curious if it is found in LA or the SGV.

Quailsquaducken or Kaifeng Four Treasures (開封套四寶 Kāifēng Tàosìbǎo) starts with a Quail, deboned and then stuffed with rice, peas and shrimp. The Quail is placed inside a deboned Squab. The stuffed Quail and Squab is then inserted into a deboned Chicken followed by yes, placement inside a deboned fresh Duck.

All the poultry was bought live. It is then steamed in stock with ginger, onion, Shaoxing rice wine and salt for six hours. This dish takes two days to prepare and costs $225.

Apparently Chef Chén Yǒngxiáng (陳永祥 – 1860-1938) invented this dish in Kaifeng. Legend has it that after the Empress Dowager Cíxǐ (慈禧) fled Beijing during the Boxer Rebellion in the summer of 1900, she first went to Xian and then on to Kaifeng where Chef Chen presented the dish to her.


Uncle Zhou Outer Borough’s Thread:

Chef Chen's Restaurant
5408 Walnut Ave, Irvine, CA 92604

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  1. Leave it to the Chinese to take Turducken to a whole new level.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit

      There was a Chinese turducken at the predecessor of OT Kitchen, Hometown Kitchen. No, I didn't order it. Since it's now closed, this reply is moot. IIRC, It was a stuffed chicken stuffed into a duck.

      Old address is 429 W Garvey Ave Monterey Park, CA 91754, OT Kitchen is now H&H, which is now serving Sichuan.

    2. Like a Russian matryoshka doll, here is the logical progression of edible birds, the smaller being stuffed within the next larger:

      ortolan-->quail-->squab-->cornish game hen-->pheasant-->chicken-->duck-->turkey-->swan-->emu-->ostrich

      5 Replies
      1. re: J.L.

        You missed goose and sparrow.

        1. re: mrhooks

          You're right about the goose. It should be between duck & turkey.

          Would a sparrow fit inside an ortolan? And are sparrows eaten in any culture?

          1. re: J.L.

            Yeah, fired sparrows are eaten in Cambodia as well as other parts of SE Asia, I think. They like to fry the young birds especially, so they end up being tiny crispy things that you eat whole.

            1. re: losangelicioustimes

              Good to know - Thanks! But which is smaller? A sparrow or an ortolan?

              1. re: J.L.

                The swallow is smaller but I don't think a sparrow would fit inside an ortolan since they're both pretty tiny. Only one way to find out though... to the laboratory!!!

      2. Watch a video on how to debone a chicken then get to work in the kitchen! If you can debone a chicken you can debone any other type of bird.