Prep: 10-30 minutes, depending on what kind of chicken pieces you're using.
Marinate: As long as you want, I like to marinate it for a couple hours
Cook: about 45 minutes
6 pieces of chicken. I use 3 chicken quarters, because it's least expensive, but you could use boneless breasts or drums, or whatever you like. Skin the chicken if it has skin.
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup vinegar (I like to use rice vinegar, but you can use whatever kind of vinegar you have, even mix types)
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp brown sugar
6-8 cloves of garlic, smashed, halved or chopped (or 2-3 tbsp prepared minced)
Toss the chicken in a pot; I use my lower-sided noodle pot, but you can use any pot. Toss the garlic on top of the chicken. Mix together remaining ingredients, making sure the sugar is pretty well dissolved. Pour the mixture over the chicken and marinate anywhere from a few minutes to 3 or more hours. I just leave it in the pot on the burner I intend to cook it on, comme ca:
Ugh, I need to clean the back panel, look how greasy! Stupid bacon.
When you're ready to cook it, turn on your burner. Get it boiling, then put a lid on it and simmer for 15 minutes.
lid on, timer set. I turned it down to 3 a minute later because it was boiling too much
Then take the lid off, turn the chicken, and simmer it uncovered for another 10 minutes, then turn the chicken again and simmer it for another 10 minutes.
Any time after the first 15 minutes this will be safe to taste. I recommend leaving it alone (partly because I ALWAYS burn the frak out of my tongue when I taste it), but you can adjust your flavors as you go if you want to, adding soy sauce if it needs salt or vinegar if it's too sweet, or water if it's too salty or sour. Also, I've read some people add a bay leaf to this, but bay is not my favorite, so I skip it.
UPDATE 1/1/15: Simone has lost her taste for this recipe, so she has leftovers these days when I make it. Given that, I decided to experiment with the recipe a little. I use 4 chicken thighs, and have replaced one tbsp of brown sugar with 1 tbsp sriracha. It doesn't seem to make it any less sweet, but makes it a little (but not too much) spicier. I like it!