In a big pot, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil. In the meantime, put the water (and bouillon cubes, or whatever) in the microwave for a few minutes.
Add the brown rice to the pot. Saute it with the onion mixture until fragrant.
Once the water is hot (boiling hot, ideally), add it to the pot.
Add the can of tomatoes to the pot.
Add the herbs as well. (Though, with the exception of the bay leaf, I sometimes wait and add the rest of the herbs towards the end, with the chickpeas.).
Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until rice is almost cooked and water is almost absorbed.
Add the chickpeas (and/or other additions). Cover again and cook until the rice is done and the water is absorbed.
There are lots of things that you can substitute for the chickpeas, or use to complement them. I've done shredded chicken (a great way to get rid of leftover chicken, especially the final bits on the carcass), sausage, shrimp, or kidney beans. The recipe can handle about 2 cups of these extras.