1. Combine salt and peppercorns in a cup; rub over entire chicken. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator 1 to 24 hours.
2. Meanwhile, line a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven with 2 layers of heavy-duty foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang. Spread tea leaves, sugar, and rice on bottom of Dutch oven. Arrange a small wire rack over tea mixture. Fit 4 wooden chopsticks in a tic-tac-toe pattern over rack, breaking them if necessary to fit in the pan. Place chicken on top of chopsticks. (The chopsticks keep the chicken from sitting directly on the tea mixture and help air circulate.)
3. Cover top of Dutch oven with another sheet of foil, then a heavy lid. Cook tea mixture over high heat until smoke begins to form, 10 to 14 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook 10 minutes more. Remove from heat; let chicken stand covered 10 minutes (this allows the smoke to penetrate the chicken). Uncover and carefully transfer chicken to a roasting pan.
4. Meanwhile, heat oven to 375 degrees F. Whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, shallots, oil, and sugar in bowl. Brush half of soy mixture on chicken. Roast chicken 15 minutes; brush with remaining soy mixture. Roast 15 to 20 minutes more, or until an instant-read thermometer reaches 180 degrees F when inserted in thigh section of chicken. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Makes 4 servings.