In Nicaragua, where my mother's side of the family is from, there's a rice dish that is always prepared at family gatherings and celebrations. I'm not talking about gallo pinto (rice and beans), but about arroz a la valenciana.
Inspired by the Spanish paella, this rice dish is prepared in a big pan so it can feed many people at once. It's usually made with one or many kinds of meats such as chicken, sausage, shrimp, or canned tuna. But since I'm a vegetarian, and the whole Easter season is a time of low meat consumption, my mom and I created this version made with chickpeas instead of meat. Chickpeas are also a staple legume during Lent, so we thought it was the perfect protein to include in this homey dish.
We also added artichokes, simply because we love them! And we used brown rice because we like eating whole grains. The traditional version, however, is made with white rice, so do it the way it pleases you most.