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The Method: Chickpeas

Canned chickpeas are definitely helpful when you need them at short notice. But preparing dried chickpeas gives you so much more control over their texture and flavor, which is especially important when making hummus, falafel, or roasting them for a crunchy snack.
Like beans, to save cooking time (and fuel), you will want to soak your chickpeas overnight. If you are accustomed to using dried chickpeas, it is helpful to know that 3/4 cup of dried chickpeas will yield about a can's worth of cooked chickpeas. You can freeze soaked or fully cooked garbanzos, though, so it pays to cook up a large batch and put some aside for the future.
Rinse 2-3 cups of chickpeas, and then place in a bowl or jar and cover with a few inches of water. Add a 1T salt, and mix. Adding salt throughout the process is somewhat controversial, but really does help create a creamier bean. Allow the chickpeas to soak overnight, or for 6-8 hours. It is of course possible to skip the soaking step, but this will increase the cook time by about an hour.
Once the chickpeas have soaked, drain and rinse them again. 
Place them in a cast iron pot, add another 1T of salt, cover with 2 inches of water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes to 1.5 hours, with the pan partially covered. Depending on what you plan to make with your chickpeas, adding a bay leaf, onion, garlic, or herbs at this point will help you start to build flavor. Start testing for doneness after 45 minutes; for roasting and falafel, you will want a slightly al dente chickpea; for hummus you may want a softer one.