Melt butter in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in onion and garlic; cook and stir until onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes.
In a separate saucepan, bring 2 cups chicken stock to a boil.
Stir brown rice, curry powder, turmeric, thyme, and bay leaf into onion mixture. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 40 minutes.