Suzy's Cheesy Chicken & Rice Bake

1 cup long-grain rice, uncooked
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup sliced mushrooms (sauteed if you like)
1/2 cup chopped fresh spinach
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 to 1 1/2 cups cooked diced chicken
2 tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 cup shredded mild Cheddar or American cheese

1. In a medium saucepan, combine rice, celery, sauteed mushrooms and water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Heat to boiling.
2. Cover and simmer for about 8 minutes; cook an additional 8 to 10 minutes, or until rice is tender and water is absorbed. Add fresh spinach.
3. Melt butter in a medium saucepan or skillet. Saute chicken for about 1 minute; stir in flour, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, just until bubbling.
4. Stir in milk and 1 1/3 cups water. Continue cooking and stirring until sauce thickens and gently boils for about 1 minute.
5. Pour sauce over the chicken rice mixture; transfer to shallow buttered 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese; bake chicken rice recipe at 375 for 20 minutes. Serves 4.
~*~ From Suzy ~*~