Chicken and Chickpea Stew - Just Dutch Oven Recipes

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Chicken and Chickpea Stew

1 lb Dried chick-peas; (garbanzo beans)
1 ts Baking soda
3 tb Olive oil
2 lb Chicken legs and thighs
1 sl Whole-wheat bread
1 lg Onion; sliced
2 lg Tomatoes; red ripe, diced
1 sl Bacon
2 c Chicken stock; fresh or canned (do not use bouillon)
1 Bay leaf; whole
2 Garlic cloves; crushed
2 Hard-boiled eggs; peeled
1/2 c Dry sherry
Freshly-ground black pepper; to taste
Salt; to taste

Pick over the chick-peas carefully, discarding discolored ones, small stones, etc. Soak them overnight in ample water to cover, along with the baking soda. Next day drain and rinse the peas. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Drain the peas and discard the water. Set aside. Heat a large frying pan and add the oil. Brown chicken pieces on all sides and remove from the pan. Fry the bread in the remaining oil. Remove and set aside. In the same pan saute onion, tomatoes and bacon. Cook until the onions are clear. Place the vegetable mixture in a 6-quart lidded Dutch oven and add the chicken pieces and the chick-peas. Deglaze the frying pan with a bit of the broth. Add the pan drippings and the stock to the pot along with the bay leaf and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the chicken is tender, about 45 minutes. In the meantime, crush the garlic in a small bowl. Break up the fried bread and add to the garlic along with the yolks of the hard boiled eggs. Mash the mixture along with 1 tablespoon of the sherry. You want to create a garlic-egg paste. Chop the whites of the eggs. When the chicken has been simmering for 45 minutes add the garlic paste, the chopped egg whites and the remaining sherry. Stir the pot carefully and simmer for another 10 minutes.