Cut the entire head of garlic in half (through the widest part of the garlic). Set aside.
Heat vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven on medium heat. Add in chicken skin side down and cook until skin is browned, about 5-7 minutes. Flip and cook for another few minutes. Remove chicken and set aside.
In the Dutch oven, add in soy sauce, vinegar(s), brown sugar, garlic (both halves of the head), and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to low. Season generously with pepper and give it a nice stir before adding chicken back in.
Using tongs, add chicken skin side up. Cover the Dutch oven and let cook for 50 minutes.
Remove chicken and place onto a cutting board. Using two forks, shred the chicken, separating the meat from the bones and skin.
Remove the bay leaves from the sauce and discard. Remove the garlic and squeeze out a couple cloves and put them back into the sauce. Put the shredded chicken meat back into the sauce and use a wooden spoon to coat the chicken with the sauce.
Optional: top with sliced scallions and serve over garlic rice (see notes)!
For garlic rice, I like to use day-old white rice from my local Chinese food restaurant (yes, ultimate life hack!). Start with about a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a non-stick pan or wok. Add in A LOT of chopped garlic and cook until fragrant. Add in your white rice and bam, that's it.