Optional marinade step: Put soy sauce, vinegar, chicken, and half the garlic in a large glass bowl to marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes up to a few hours.
Heat a little olive oil in a large pan, pot or dutch oven
Sauteé garlic and sliced onions until fragrant, then push to side of pan
Place the meat into the pan to lightly brown it, skin side down
Pour the rest of the marinade in over the browned meat. If you didnt marinade, this is where you add in the soy sauce and vinegar.
Add bay leaves, black pepper and sugar and stir gently
Bring it to a low simmer, cover and continue simmering on low heat 20-25 minutes. Longer cooking time on low heat = the key to tender chicken here.
Remove cover, then continue to simmer 10-15 minutes uncovered to let sauce reduce and thicken. We let it go a little longer on low heat to make them extra tender for our toddler.
Optional: We like to stir in a bag of baby spinach leaves right at the end to get some greens in! Goes great with the sauce.