Bechamel Sauce Sauces & Gravies

1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 celery stalk,chopped
1 small carrot,chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 small bay leaf
sprig of parsley
6 peppercorns, crushed
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk OR1/2 cup milk+
1/2 cup cream
salt and pepper to taste

Mix the first 7 ingredients together and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain. There should be 1 cupful.

Melt butter. Add the flour and blend well. Add gradually the strained stock and stir constantly. Gradually add the milk or milk and cream. Cook and stir until thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes about 2 cups.