Dorsey – When Charlie Martin was in elementary school, he would go to his grandmother’s house every week and ask the exact same question: “Will you make me a chicken pie?”
When he was 7 years old, he was in the kitchen with her and learning how to make that chicken pie. After half a dozen lessons, he cooked them himself.
“When I was 8, I started grilling as much as I could, just to see how it would go,” said Martin, 15. My own.”
Martin said that when he was about 9 years old and school was out for the summer, he would wake up around 11:30 or midnight and be bored. So he goes to the kitchen and cooks a whole meal.
“Then I’ll wake up my parents to see if they want to taste it,” he said. “I’d say, ‘Please, please, please’ until they tried to cut at least one of it.”
Martin is a sophomore at Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton, where he plays right tackle and middle linebacker for the football team and is an outfielder and pitcher for the baseball team.
His mother, Christy, owns Black Sheep Boutique in Tupelo and his father, Grant, is the principal of the Dorsey Attendance Center. He has four brothers – Noah, Brayden, Sam and Will.
Martin learned to make chocolate gravy from his grandmother, Linda Shackelford Green of Tupelo, but most of his culinary skills came from his grandmother, Kay Martin, who lived across the street.
“Nana taught me everything about cooking,” Martin said. “I learned about grilling from YouTube and watching MasterChef Canada. Soon, I got good at it.”
Martin started out grilling chicken and steaks, but now he likes to grill fish and vegetables.
“You have to get the fish to the right temperature,” he said. “I like to do salmon, snapper, triggerfish and catfish. I’m a deep-time angler, so every time I go to the beach, I bring something back here.”
For years, Martin avoided vegetables.
“I hated them,” he said. “Then I discovered they’re good for you. Now, I grill mushrooms, onions, squash, zucchini, peppers. I don’t think you can go wrong with jalapeño peppers.”
Martin also likes to bake cupcakes, muffins and casseroles, and he makes his own pasta from flour and egg yolks.
“It’s nice that my friends like me to cook,” he said. “A lot of them can only cook things in the microwave. My mom says cooking is a good way to raise girls, but I haven’t seen any evidence of that yet.”
Do you know a good cook? Send your nominations to Ginna Parsons, Cook of the Week, PO Box 909, Tupelo, MS 38802. Or you can call (662) 678-1581 or email [email protected]
Southern pot roast
4 pounds boneless chuck or blade roast, trimming excess fat
8 cloves garlic, crushed, or 2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 pound baby potatoes, white or Yukon gold
4 large carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons bouillon granules
1 cup low-sodium beef broth
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
Heat oil in a large skillet or pan over high heat. Season the roast with a good amount of salt and pepper. Sear on all sides until browned, about 5 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer the roast to a 6-quart slow cooker.
Add onion, garlic, potatoes, carrots, celery, vinegar, mustard, brown sugar, thyme and bouillon. Season with salt and pepper. Mix the broth and flour together to form a slurry and pour into the slow cooker.
Cook on low for 8 hours, or until the meat is tender and the vegetables are tender. Adjust the seasons.
Slice meat, garnish with parsley and drizzle with gravy.
2 teaspoons fresh black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (4-pound) whole chicken, shredded*
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 cups vegetable shortening or oil
Combine the paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and cayenne in a small bowl and mix well with a fork.
In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 teaspoons allspice. Add the chicken pieces and toss and turn to coat. Transfer the contents of the bowl to a Ziptop gallon freezer bag and freeze for at least 4 hours, and up to overnight, turning the bag occasionally to redistribute the contents and coat the chicken evenly.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, 2 teaspoons salt, and remaining spice mixture. Add 3 tablespoons of the marinade from the ziptop bag and work it into the flour with your fingers. Remove one piece of chicken from bag, allow excess buttermilk to drain, drop chicken into flour mixture, and toss to coat. Continue adding the chicken pieces to the flour mixture one at a time until they are all in the bowl. Coat the chicken until each piece is well coated, pressing with your hands so that the flour adheres to a thick layer.
Heat shortening or oil to 350 degrees in a 12-inch straight-sided deep cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Adjust the heat as necessary to maintain the temperature, being careful not to let the fat get too hot.
One piece at a time, transfer the coated chicken to a fine-mesh strainer and shake to remove excess flour. Transfer to a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Once all the chicken pieces are coated, place them skin side down in the hot oil. The temperature should drop to 300 degrees; Adjust heat to maintain temperature at 300 degrees for the duration of cooking. Fry chicken until deep golden brown on first side, about 6 minutes; Don’t move the chicken or start checking for doneness until it’s been roasted for at least 3 minutes, or you could burn the coating off. Carefully flip the chicken pieces with tongs and cook until the second side is golden brown, about 4 minutes longer.
Transfer the cooked chicken pieces to a wire rack and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
*Note: You can also use 3 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on breast, legs, drumsticks and/or wings.
1 pound cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
4 whole plum tomatoes, seeds removed and chopped
2 whole jalapeño peppers, seeds and veins removed, minced
1 cup diced jicama, or diced peeled apple
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 avocado, mashed, peeled and diced
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Cut the shrimp into half-inch pieces and transfer to a bowl. allocated
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon, lime and orange juice. Drizzle 1/2 cup citrus juice over shrimp and toss to combine. Allow the shrimp to marinate in the juices for 15 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, jalapeño, jicama (or apple), cilantro and red onion to the shrimp. Toss ingredients to combine and allow to marinate for an additional 10 minutes. Stir in avocado and remaining citrus juice.
Season the ceviche with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with tortilla chips, if desired.
4 whole chicken breast halves
4 tablespoons margarine, melted
1 cream of chicken soup
Boil chicken breast until tender. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, debone it and place the chicken pieces in the bottom of a greased casserole. Pour the melted margarine over the chicken.
Mix the flour and milk and pour over the chicken. Mix chicken soup and broth and pour over all. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, softened
1 pound ground mild breakfast sausage, cooked and drained
Combine softened cream cheese and cooked sausage and place in bottom of greased 9×13-inch casserole dish. Unroll the crescents and place on top, pinching the seams together. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.