- 5 to 6 bell peppers (green or colored peppers)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 stalks celery diced
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 pounds sliced mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups cold milk
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups cooked chicken shredded or diced
- 2 cups cooked rice. Any variety will work
- 1 and 1/4 cups shredded cheese (Monterey jack or cheddar)
- Pinch of garlic powder (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Cut the peppers in half or cut the top and keep the peppers whole. Remove the seeds and ribs. Lay the peppers cut side up, on its bottom in a 9 by 13-inch pan with 1/4 cup water in the bottom. Lightly sprinkle with kosher salt and microwave the peppers for 8 to 10 minutes until softened. Drain the water from the pan and set aside.
- In a large skillet or oven, saute onions and celery with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt over medium heat until they begin to soften, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes until the mushrooms soften then transfer to a bowl.
- In the same oven or skillet, melt the butter over medium heat, scraping bits from bottom of pan if there are any. Whisk in the flour and cook over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly so flour taste cooks out and the mixture becomes lightly browned. Add the chicken stock and the milk to the butter and flour mixture, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Add the thyme, crushing it between your fingers, and season with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to medium heat and cook until the sauce thickens and reduces by one-third. Add the mushroom mixture back to the pan with the chicken and rice and cook until warmed. Add more milk if the sauce is too thick.
- Lightly salt (about 1/4 teaspoon) the inside of the stemmed and seeded peppers and place in a microwave-safe bowl with½ cup or so of water, cover, and cook for 5 minutes untiI starting to soften.
- Place peppers in a 9 by 12 baking dish, and fill pepper cavities with chicken mixture, sprinkle the garlic powder if desired, and top each pepper with a small handful of shredded cheese. Add extra filling around the peppers. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes or until bubbling and the cheese is melted. Rest for 5 minutes and serve.
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