As soon as it gets cold I feel the need for sauce...proper sauce, no packet stuff mind.
I use roux as a thickening agent and I find it really useful to make a batch once a week ensuring I always have enough on hand.
Equal amounts of butter and flour melted together, mixed until paste and stored in a teacup in the fridge.
For the perfect white sauce I use a base of half cream, half stock, bring it up to the simmer and add a tbsp of the roux. Whisk! If it doesn't thicken up after a minute or so add another spoonful of the roux. Whisk! Season once it's the consistency you prefer then add your cheese, parsley etc etc etc.
The chicken pie below was an easy peasy dinner last night.
Halve a big carrot, onion and celery stick into a stockpot, add some herbs, a medium/large chicken and a litre of stock and bake in a 190 oven for about an hour and a half, or until the chicken is done.
Drain the chicken and leave to cool. Remove all the veggies from the stock and skim the fat before reducing it by about a quarter, test the seasoning. Add about 200ml of cream and a tbsp of the roux, whisk! Add enough roux until the sauce thickens up and put to one side.
Pull apart the chicken discarding the skin and bones and chop the meat into a pie dish. I love to throw in a heap of gently fried mushrooms and bacon bits with a couple of handfuls of frozen peas too. Then pour over the sauce, sprinkle with chopped parsley and thyme, top with a square of ready rolled flaky pastry (poke a hole in the middle of the lid first though) and bake at 200 for 30 minutes.
I serve this with hot chunky chips and tomato sauce.