Unlike butterbeans, it is almost impossible to cook chickpeas to a stage where they break up. They are a particular favourite of mine for their lovely nutty flavour. This one-pot meal is ideal for a family supper as it is popular with children. Serve with a green salad and crusty bread.
Soak the chickpeas in water overnight. Drain and boil in plenty of water for 10 minutes. Now reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for about half an hour. Meanwhile, peel the garlic and chop finely. Put the tomatoes into a bowl, pour boiling water over them, leave for 2 minutes, then drain, peel and chop up fairly small. Cut the chicken into roughly
Drain the parcooked chickpeas and put them into a heatproof casserole with all the prepared ingredients. Stir in the oregano and chicken stock and cover the casserole. Bring up to bubbling on top of the stove and then put on the centre shelf of the oven for 1½-2 hours, until the chickpeas are tender. Season to taste with salt and black pepper and, just before serving, trickle the olive oil over the top so that it mixes in roughly as you spoon the helpings out.
© 1997 Josceline Dimbleby. All rights reserved.