Most of you out there have probably made this at one time or another. It’s one of the so-called “mother sauces” of French cuisine according to Escoffier (the others being velouté, espagnol, hollandaise, and mayonnaise). This one is made with 1/3 milk and 2/3 stock, which either makes it a meaty béchamel or an enriched velouté. That’s up to you to decide. This is a thin version, specifically for chicken pot pie. For a more standard thickness, only use 2 cups of liquid. You’ll need:
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) butter
1.75 ounces (generous third cup) all purpose flour
8 ounces (1 cup) milk
16 ounces (2 cups) chicken stock
salt and white pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Stir in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for about two minutes.
It will look a bit like this:
Add the milk, again whisking all the while, until any lumps have been stirred out.
It will be quite thick.
Now start whisking in the chicken stock. Add it in a steady stream and bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking occassionally.
Heat it until it’s thickened, 4-6 minutes. Remove it from the heat. It should it about so thick.