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Arroz Con Garbanzos (rice With Chick-peas)

1/2 lb Dried chick-peas (rinsed in cold water, picked over, and left in water to cover overnight, or 4 c Canned, drained
2 qt Water
1 Bay leaf
4 oz Salt pork -- rind removed
1 lg Onion -- finely chopped
2 Cloves garlic -- finely chopped
1 lg Green bell pepper -- finely chopped
1/4 lb Smoked slab bacon -- rind removed and finely diced
1 c Canned tomatoes -- drained and chopped
1 Chorizo link -- diced (or other spicy sausage)
Fresh ground black pepper -- to taste
1/4 c Dry sherry
2 c Long-grain rice


If using dried chick-peas, place the soaked peas in a large stock pot with the water and bay leaf and simmer, covered, over low heat 2 1/2 hours, or until tender. Drain, reserve the cooking liquied, and discard the bay leaf. There should be 3 cups of liquid; if necessary, add some water to make that amount. If using cooked or canned chick-peas, use 4 cups water in place of the reserved cooking liquid. In a large, heavy casserole, cook the salt pork, stirring over low heat 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, chorizo, and bacon, and cook over low heat until the onions are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, sherry, rice, reserved cooking liquied, and chick-peas, and stir to blend. Cook over medium-high heat until most of the liquied has been absorbed and small craters appear over the top of the rice, 10 to 25 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, stir the rice with a fork, cover, and cook until the rice is tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the salt pork and serve.


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