Heat oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes, then turn over and cook an additional 5 minutes.
Pour out all but 1 tbsp. of pan drippings and return pan to low heat. Add garlic and sauté until soft. Make sure not to burn as it will turn bitter. Add remaining ingredients and stir to incorporate. Simmer and cook, covered, for 20 minutes.
Uncover, increase heat to medium-low and cook 15 to 20 minutes more, occasionally spooning sauce over chicken, until sauce thickens a bit and chicken is tender and nicely glazed with sauce. Remove bay leaf before eating.
Heat a large wok to medium-high heat. Add canola oil. Stir fry the garlic and onions until the onions turn clear. Add cabbage and carrots until tender then add the tofu. Lightly stir fry 2-3 minutes. Pour the mixture onto a bowl and set aside.
Pour the vegetable stock into the heated wok. Once it starts boiling, turn the heat down to medium. Add rice sticks and soy sauce. Boil for another 5 minutes or so until there is approximately 1/4 cup stock left. Add the vegetable meat mixture back into the wok. Lightly stir fry until all the liquid has evaporated. Add ground pepper to taste.