1 lemon, preferably unwaxed, 1.6 kg (31/2lb) whole chicken, 1 carrot, thickly sliced, 1 celery stick, thickly sliced 1/2 onion, 8 black peppercorns, 150 g (5oz) butter, 450 g (1lb) leeks, sliced, 50 g (2oz) plain flour, 150 ml (1⁄4 pint) full-fat milk, Salt and freshly ground black pepper 125 g (4oz) stale wholemeal or ciabatta bread, 2 garlic cloves, crushed, 25 g (1oz) walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped, Oregano sprigs to garnish
HOW TO COOK
Remove the lemon rind using a swivel peeler, squeeze the juice and reserve. Tuck rind inside the chicken; put in a large pan with the carrot, celery, onion, and peppercorns. Add enough cold water to cover the chicken thighs and cover the pan with a lid. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 45min or until the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced.
Lift the chicken from the pan and put to one side to cool. Bring the stock to the boil and bubble until reduced to about 600ml (1 pint), then strain and reserve the liquid
In a frying pan, melt 50g (2oz) butter and fry the leeks for 4-5min or until lightly colored. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 2-3min then add the reserved chicken stock and milk. Bring to the boil, stirring all the time. Simmer for 2-3min or until the sauce thickens. Season, add the reserved lemon juice (about 2tbsp) and allow to cool.
Remove the skin from the chicken and cut the flesh into bite-sized pieces. Stir into the sauce then spoon into a 2.6-3 liter (41/2-51/4 pint) ovenproof dish. Melt the remaining butter. Crumble the bread and mix with the butter, adding the garlic and walnuts. Sprinkle over the chicken. Cook at 200°C (400°F) mark 6 for 20min, then cover with foil and cook for 10–20min or until golden. Garnish with oregano