In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
Saute the onion and celery until softened.
Add the garlic, and cook a further 30 seconds.
Sprinkle flour over the top and mix well.
Whisk in the stock and milk and cook until thickened.
Season to taste with salt/pepper.
Add the rice, chicken and 1/2 cup cheddar and bacon (keep some for sprinkling) and mix until well combined.
Top with remaining cheddar and bake until the cheese melts and browns (about 15 minutes)
Garnish with scallions and extra bacon.
I use leftover chicken or pull apart a rotisserie chicken and use that. You could poach some chicken breasts to use in your rice mixture. You want to be sure your chicken is cooked, as the time in the oven is basically for top browning, not chicken cooking.Leftover rice is good in this recipe too, but if you don’t have any – just cook some up and you’ll be good to go. Instant rice is a good option if you need this fast!What do do with leftoversStore in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, and reheat until piping hot in microwave.Substitutions/AdditionsYou can use brown rice if you prefer it to white.You could substitute the butter/flour/chicken broth/milk mixture and use a condensed cream soup like cream of mushroom soup (or cream of chicken soup)I use cheddar cheese, sometimes mixed with Monterey Jack. Whatever you happen to have will work!