To use ASOIAF as an example (since everyone here has probably read it), one of my favorite chapters is what I believe to be Jaime's first in AFfC, when he's standing vigil over Tywin. Not a ton of stuff really happens in real time for that chapter, but you get an enormous amount of backstory and character development, while also having a general recurring "theme" (that's not really the right word for what I mean) of parenthood. At least that's how I remember reading it, I may be a little off in the details, but it always stuck out to me as one of the better-written parts of the series.
Agreed and agreed! To me, that chapter works so well because it does both of what every chapter should do: move the story forward or tell you something about the characters. (I think that's also true of episodes in a TV series, but this is the lit thread so I will hold off going any further into that.)