Chicken breasts are stewed in a white wine and a simple but delicious stock. In French cooking, mirepoix is the traditional base of diced carrots, onion and celery sautéed in butter that is the base of many stews, soups and sauces.
Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then roll in flour until completely coated. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot or deep frypan and fry breasts until lightly browned, about 5 minutes on each side. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
Add remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and sauté onions for 2 minutes. Stir in the celery and carrots and cook for about one more minute. Add the garlic, bay leaves, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another minute.
Deglaze the pot with white wine, stirring until nothing is stuck to the pan, then pour in the chicken stock. Simmer for an hour.
Return the chicken breasts to the pan and simmer for an additional 30 minutes. The liquid should have reduced considerably by this time, so check frequently to see that the chicken is covered. Baste with a spoon if necessary. The ragout should have a stew like consistency when finished.