Lightly adapted from Jennifer McLagan's Bitter. A couple of notes: McLagan highly recommends cooking your own chickpeas, and I have used her method here. If however you need to make this posthaste, substitute a couple 15-ounce cans of chickpeas (washed, drained, dried). Also, McLagan finishes the dish with a couple tablespoons of dry sherry. If you are feeding small humans, you may want to skip this step -- the alcohol does not cook off -- which is why it is listed as optional below. —Nicholas Day
Drain the chickpeas and place in a saucepan with a lid. Cover with cold water by a couple of inches and bring to a boil. Lower to simmer and cook, covered, until the chickpeas are done, anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour. When they are cooked, uncover the pan, take it off the heat and stir in a teaspoon of salt. Let cool for a half-hour, then drain the chickpeas and dry on a dish towel.
In a large frying pan, ideally with a lid, warm two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until soft. Then add the chickpeas, seasoning with salt and pepper, and sauté until lightly browned. Add 1/4 cup chicken stock and bring to a boil, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Empty the entire pan into a bowl.
Wipe out the pan and warm the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the brussels sprouts, keeping as many as possible cut-side down. Cook until the sprouts are dark-brown, then add the rest of the chicken stock, lower the heat, cover the pan (if not with a lid, then with foil), and cook briefly until the sprouts are crisp but just tender.
Add the chickpea mixture to the pan and cook until the chickpeas are warmed through. Pour in the optional sherry and serve hot or at room temperature.