Place chickpeas in large saucepan with enough water to cover by several inches. Add onion cut in half (with cloves) and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and cook 1 hour, until about halfway cooked. In the meantime, heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper and place chicken pieces, skin side down, in hot pot. Cook until evenly golden brown, about 5 minutes, then flip over and cook other side 5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from the pan and add diced mountain ham or bacon. Cook 5 minutes until crisp. If using bacon, drain excess fat. Add chopped onion, garlic, and saffron and stir. Cook until onions start to soften, then add white wine and scrape bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits. Add carrots, celery, cabbage, salt and pepper. Remove onion halves from chickpeas and add half cooked chickpeas and their cooking liquid to pot along with the 6 cups of stock or water. Bring pot to a boil, lower heat and simmer 45 minutes to an hour or until chicken and chickpeas are completely cooked. Stir in parsley and serve.
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