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Playing Mom’s Chicken Curry and Buttery Rice Pilaf


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large or 2 medium Honeycrisp apples, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 inches ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped or sliced
  • 1 small red chili pepper, seeded and chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons curry powder*
  • 3 rounded tablespoons flour
  • 5 to 6 cups homemade chicken stock, warmed
  • 1 poached chicken, meat removed
  • 1/2 cup mild mango chutney, Patak’s preferred brand
For the Rice Pilaf:
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup thin spaghetti, broken into 1- to 2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 cup American Basmati rice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups chicken stock
For the Toppings:
  • Thinly sliced scallions whites and greens
  • Smoked almonds, chopped, or sliced almonds with skins, toasted
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Mango chutney


*To make your own curry powder, toast 1 tablespoon cumin seed, 2 teaspoons each mustard and coriander seed, and 1 small piece (about 1 inch) cinnamon stick, then grind together with 1 tablespoon turmeric, 1/8 teaspoon cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne or other ground hot red pepper in a spice mill. 

Melt butter in large deep skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the apples, onions, ginger, garlic, chili pepper and season with salt and pepper. Cook to tender 7-8 minutes, do not brown. Add curry powder and stir a minute then add flour and stir a minute more, whisk in warm stock and thicken a bit. Stir in the chutney then adjust salt and pepper. Add in chicken and simmer at low bubble while rice cooks.

For the rice pilaf: Heat a saucepan with a lid over medium to medium-high heat. Add butter to pan and melt until it foams, add spaghetti and brown the broken bits; add rice and season with salt and pepper. Add 2 cups stock and bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer 15-18 minutes, adding a bit extra stock if necessary and shaking pot occasionally. 

Serve the curry and rice with toppings of choice.