- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- Knob of butter, plus extra 3 tbsp, softened
- 16 boneless chicken thighs or 8 chicken breasts, diced
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 150ml dry white wine
- 4 fresh bay leaves
- Leaves from 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 700ml chicken stock, hot
- 75ml double cream
- Heat the vegetable oil and knob of butter in a large, deep frying pan or flameproof casserole. Season the chicken pieces and fry, in batches, over a medium-high heat, until lightly browned. Remove the chicken to a large bowl and set aside.
- Add the chopped onion to the pan and fry gently, without colouring, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further 30 seconds. Add the wine and herbs, then cover and cook for 10 minutes.
- Remove the lid and bubble over a high heat until the liquid is reduced to about 1 tablespoon. Add to the bowl with the cooked chicken.
- Add the extra 3 tablespoons of butter to the pan and melt. Add the flour and stir well to make a paste. Cook for 5 minutes, until a pale golden colour. Gradually add the hot stock, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened.
- Return the chicken and onions to the pan. Cover and simmer gently for 5 minutes, then add the double cream. Check the seasoning. Set aside to cool.
- Once cool, divide the creamy chicken between 3 freezer bags or freezerproof containers, label and freeze. Now you have your base for one of the following recipes: chicken a la king; chicken, mushroom and spinach pasta bake; or chicken, pea and bacon pies.