A University Visit and Dead Simple Chicken

Kristen Frederickson

Kristen Frederickson › What part of liv­ing bliss­fully in New York and own­ing an art gallery ...


Editor’s Note: Handpicked Nation contributor, Kristen Frederickson writes about her daughter’s first university visit.

Besides being her daughter, Avery is responsible for the delicious photography that accompanies Ms. Frederickson’s posts.

This is an excerpt for Kristen’s blog, Kristen in London, that we have reproduced with her kind permission.

You can read her entire article here.

Thank you, Kristen. 

I can’t believe that a week has gone by–solidly booked with the stuff of daily life, with a few infusions of excitement–since our milestone trip: the first university visit!

Edinburgh… by train, such a relaxing way to make the journey, through fields of new lambs and bright red poppies, which once seen, I was obsessed with recording on film, only to have them rush by unappreciated as I tried to unlock my phone.

A life lesson: sometimes it’s nicer actually to experience some­thing in real time, than to completely miss it by try­ing to save it forever.

We arrived at the flat (my husband) John had rented for the two days and nights of our stay, and coor­dinated with Elspeth and Minnie (our friends and fellow university visitors) that we’d all rather eat in and relax than put our tired feet to the pavement one more time that day.

I’d love to tell you that we repaired to one of Edinburgh’s fabulous restaurants (there must be some) for a memorable meal out, but we didn’t. We were exhausted.

A roasted chicken by the light of the tea lights I’d brought with me, was the perfect solution, in that kitchen with the lovely Scot­tish urban view.

Home for a completely delicious, completely simple “rented flat with no pantry” stir-fry, containing the minimum of ingredients to buy and leave behind.

Compromise and buy oyster sauce, just this once. I won’t tell.

When you’re traveling, do you stay at places that allow you to prepare your own meals?

Photo credit: Avery Curran

Serves 6
Dead Simple Chicken and Broccoli Stirfry with Fried Mushroom Rice

6 chicken breast fillets

1 bottle (150ml, about 1/2 cup) oyster sauce

several generous shakes soy sauce

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 bunches spring onions, sliced (green parts too)

1-inch knob ginger, peeled and minced

1 large head broccoli, separated into bite-size florets

2 red bell peppers, cut into bite-size chunks

2 tbsps ground­nut or vegetable oil

6–8 medium brown mushrooms, diced

4 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cups/300g basmati rice, steamed

2 tbsps soy sauce, or to taste

handful roasted cashews, roughly chopped (optional)

handful cilantro leaves (optional)


Trim the chicken and slice VERY thin on the bias, then place in a bowl with the oyster sauce, the first 2 tbsps soy sauce and the garlic, one bunch of sliced spring onions, and the ginger. Stir well to coat chicken and leave aside while you prepare everything else.

Stir-fry the chicken until JUST cooked, then remove to a serving bowl, leaving as much of the sauce behind as possible. In this sauce, cook the broccoli and peppers till they are slightly softened.

Add the vegetables to the chicken in the serving bowl, toss till mixed, and cover with a lid or foil to keep hot.

In the same pan, add the oil and stir-fry the mushrooms until just softened. Push the mushrooms to one side and add the beaten eggs to the empty side and scramble.

Throw in the steamed rice and stir-fry mushrooms, eggs and rice together, sprinkling with soy sauce.

Serve at once with the still-hot chicken and vegetables.

Top with the cashews and cilantro, if using.

Tell us how it turned out: