Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, place the chicken in the pan, skin-side down, and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Flip the chicken over and brown the other side, another 5 minutes.
Remove the browned chicken from the saute pan and place in a large bowl. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp of the drippings from the saute pan and return to low heat. Add the garlic and saute until lightly brown and fragrant, about 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with the soy and vinegar, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Return the chicken to the pan, along with any accumulated juices from the bowl, and bring to a gentle simmer. After the liquid reaches a simmer, cover the saute pan and cook for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, uncover the pan and increase the heat to medium, cooking for 15 minutes more or until sauce thickens to your liking. While the chicken cooks, occasionally stir and spoon sauce over the chicken. Remove the bay leaves and serve [with coconut cauliflower rice]. Drizzle chicken and rice with sauce.
1 head cauliflower, leaves and large stem removed, cut into chunks
1/3 cup (heaping) unsweetened coconut flakes [omitted]
1/2 Tbs fresh grated ginger or 1/2 tsp good-quality ground ginger [used the fresh]
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you like it) [used 1 tsp]
1 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
1/2 cup roughly chopped scallions [used parsley instead, the scallions at the store were wilted]
2 tsp coconut oil (probably optional) [used this instead of coconut flakes]
Salt to taste
Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until it resembles rice. Set aside and wipe out food processor bowl.Put all remaining ingredients in the food processor. Blend until very finely chopped. [Boyfriend cut the cilantro and parsley himself]. Combine the mixture with the cauliflower. [Instead of cooking in the microwave, we pan-fried it with some of the chicken drippings. We accidentally burned it a little, hence the much browner color on the final plate.]