Combine salt, five-spice powder and pepper in a bowl. Use this to marinate the chicken. Keep in an airtight plastic container and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for several hours.
Heat enough oil in a wok and deep-fry the chicken halves until lightly golden. Remove and leave aside. Dab with kitchen paper to absorb excess oil.
Heat a clean wok with oil. Fry garlic and shallots until fragrant, then add in sugar. Stir until sugar melts and add dark soy sauce.
Coat the chicken with the sauce. Add water, galangal, cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves, spring onion and ginger slices. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for 40-45 minutes or until meat is tender and the gravy has reduced. Remove the chicken and chop into bite-sized pieces and serve.