Some butchers and delicatessens sell the off-cuts as soup pieces, and these are excellent for making stock.
1 large whole chicken or 2 kg/4 lb chicken soup pieces
2 spring onions with leaves
6 slices fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
3 sprigs celery leaves
2 teaspoons salt
Wash the chicken well, rinsing inside the cavity to remove any bits of organs and blood, as these will result in a cloudy stock. Chop off the tail of the chicken together with the two small glands positioned on either side of it and discard. Chop chicken through the bones.
In a large pan with a well-fitting lid put the chicken pieces and enough cold water to cover. Add the remaining ingredients and bring slowly to the boil. Skim off any scum on the surface, cover and simmer very gently for 3 hours. If heat cannot be adjusted to maintain a gentle simmer, put a heat diffuser under the pot. Let stock cool for a while, then strain into another large pot and refrigerate until completely cold. Remove congealed fat from surface. Divide stock into freezer containers and freeze for future use.
Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)