Add rice, celery, carrot, onion, garlic, 1-1/2 tsp pepper, Italian seasoning, chicken, bay leaves, chicken broth and water to a slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours.
At 3-1/2 hours, take out chicken, shred and return to slow cooker.
In a pan mix butter, flour, and milk over low-medium heat. Stir until roux thickens. Add roux to slow cooker. Stir well.
Stir in 2 teaspoons salt, and pepper to taste. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
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