Curried Chicken Rice Salad

[Vegetarian version: Omit the chicken or replace it with chickpeas.]

1 c. Brown rice
1 3/4 c. Water
3-4 pc. Chicken thighs, deboned and cut small
1/2 Red onion, chopped small
1 tbsp Curry powder
1/4 c. Olive oil
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tbsp Sesame oil
1 Apple
2 tbsp Honey
1 stalk Celery
Fresh Cilantro (3-4 sprigs)
Dried cranberries
Chopped walnuts or pecan (optional)

Wash the rice a few times with water and drain as much as possible. Put the rice and water in a pot and add water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 40 min. Turn off the heat and keep cover for at least 10 min. Fluff the rice with a fork.

In a frying pan, cook the chicken with 1 tbsp olive oil. Add a little bit of salt while cooking. Set cooked chicken aside.

In a small pot, combine the olive oil, curry powder, cumin, paprika, chilli powder and sesame oil. Mix well and let the oil simmer for 1 minute.

Add the chopped onion and cook until they are translucent.

Add honey to the oil mixture. Stir quickly to mix and remove the oil from heat.

Without peeling, core and chop the apple into small pieces. (Do not do this too early or the apple will turn brown.)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the rice, chicken, apple, celery and cilantro. Pour the oil mixture into the mixing bowl. Mix well with a wooden spoon.

Taste test the rice salad. If it requires more of the spices, heat up a little bit more olive oil, mix in the desired amount of spices and simmer for a few minute. Add to the rice salad. Also add salt to taste.

Chill and serve cold.

My comments:

I had this salad at a coffee shop on Saturday and fell in love with the flavour. It was so tastey and looked so simple to do that I was inspired to make my own. I found a similar recipe on Simply Recipe and I made a few adjustments to it.

Since the recipe wasn't clear on the amount of ingredients use, I had to experiment a little. My salad turned out really tastey and I am enjoying it a lot. However, I added 2 tbsp of curry powder and that was definitely too strong. I suggest to reduce that to 1 tbsp (already corrected in the ingredients above). If the curry flavour is too mild, then you can always add more.