To cook dry chickpeas, sort 1 pound of chickpeas to remove stones or debris, and rinse the chickpeas with cold water. Place the rinsed chickpeas in a bowl of water, and store them in the refrigerator overnight. Simmer the chickpeas for 1 1/2 hours, and add 2 bay leaves, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 2 cloves garlic and 1 stalk chopped celery, and continue cooking until the chickpeas are soft. Add salt, pepper or other spices if desired.
If desired, add 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns to the chickpeas after cooking them for 1 1/2 hours, or add a whole, dried chipotle pepper to the chickpeas for a smoky flavor. When the chickpeas are tender, remove the bay leaves and vegetables.
Alternately, soak the chickpeas overnight, drain them, and bring them to a boil in fresh water. After the water begins to boil, transfer the pot to an oven heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Continue cooking until the chickpeas are tender, and add 1 teaspoon sea salt.
To make chickpeas in a slow cooker, place 1 pound of sorted chickpeas and 7 cups of water in the slow cooker. Add 1/4 cup baking soda, and cook the chickpeas on high for four hours, or on low for eight to nine hours. Drain the liquid off the chickpeas before serving them.