DORSEY. When Charlie Martin was in elementary school, he would come to his grandmother’s every week and ask the same question: “Will you make me a chicken pot pie?”
When he was 7 years old, he was in the kitchen with her learning how to make this chicken pot pie. After half a dozen lessons, he baked them himself.
“When I was 8 years old, I started grilling everything I could just to see how it would turn out,” said 15-year-old Martin. “After I showed my family a few times that I could cook, they began to trust me to do it on my own.”
Martin said that when he was about 9 and didn’t have school for the summer, he would stay up until 11:30 or midnight and be bored. Therefore, he went to the kitchen and prepared a full meal.
“Then I woke up my parents to see if they wanted a taste,” he said. “I kept saying ‘please, please, please’ until they tried at least one bite.”
Martin is a sophomore at Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton, where he plays right tackle and middle infielder on the football team and outfielder and pitcher on the baseball team.
His mother, Christy, owns the Black Sheep boutique in Tupelo, and his father, Grant, is the director of the Dorsey Visitor Center. He has four brothers – Noah, Braden, Sam and Will.
Martin learned how to make chocolate sauce from his maternal grandmother, Linda Shackelford Green of Tupelo, but most of his cooking skills came from his paternal grandmother, Kay Martin, who lives across the street.
“Nana taught me literally everything about cooking,” Martin said. “I learned about grilling from YouTube and watching MasterChef Canada. I soon learned it well.’
Martin started out grilling chicken and steaks, but now enjoys grilling fish and vegetables.
“You have to get the fish to the perfect temperature,” he said. “I enjoy fishing for salmon, snapper, triggerfish and catfish. I’m a big deep-sea fisherman, so every time we go to the beach, I bring some here.”
Martin avoided vegetables for years.
“I used to hate them,” he said. “Then I realized that they are useful to you. Now I fry mushrooms, onions, zucchini, zucchini, peppers. I don’t think you can go wrong with jalapenos.”
Martin also likes to bake cupcakes, muffins and casseroles, and he makes his own pasta from flour and egg yolks.
“My friends think it’s cool that I like to cook,” he said. “Most of them only know how to cook in a microwave oven. My mom says cooking is a good way to pick up girls, but I haven’t seen any evidence of that yet.”
DO YOU KNOW A GOOD COOK? Send your nominations to Ginna Parsons, Chef of the Week, PO Box 909, Tupelo, MS 38802. Or you can call (662) 678-1581 or email them to [email protected]
4 pounds boneless or blade roast, trimmed of excess fat
8 minced garlic cloves or 2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 pound new potatoes, white or Yukon gold
4 large carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 celery stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons of broth granules
1 cup reduced sodium beef broth
2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley for decoration
Heat the oil in a large frying pan or skillet over high heat. Season the roast well with salt and pepper. Fry on all sides until browned, about 5-6 minutes on each side. Transfer the roast to a 6 liter slow cooker.
Add onion, garlic, potatoes, carrots, celery, vinegar, mustard, brown sugar, thyme, and stock. Season with salt and pepper. Beat the broth with flour to a pulp and pour it into the slow cooker.
Cook on low for 8 hours or until the meat is tender and falling apart and the vegetables are soft. Adjust seasonings.
Cut the meat, garnish with parsley and pour the sauce.
2 tablespoons of freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons of garlic powder
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 (4 lb) whole chicken, chopped *
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 cups of vegetable fat or oil
Combine the paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and cayenne in a small bowl and mix thoroughly with a fork.
Whisk buttermilk, egg, 1 tablespoon salt, and 2 tablespoons spice mix in a large bowl. Add the chicken pieces and turn to coat. Transfer the contents of the bowl to a gallon ziplock freezer bag and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, up to overnight, turning the bag occasionally to redistribute the contents and coat the chicken evenly.
Mix together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, 2 teaspoons salt, and remaining spice mixture in a large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of the marinade from the ziplock bag and mix it into the flour with your fingertips. Remove one piece of chicken from bag, allowing excess buttermilk to drip off, dip chicken into flour mixture and toss to coat. Continue to add the chicken pieces to the flour mixture one at a time until they are all in the bowl. Toss the chicken until each piece is well coated, pressing down with your hands so that the flour adheres in a thick layer.
Heat fat or oil to 350 degrees in a 12-inch deep, straight-sided cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Adjust the heat to maintain the temperature, being careful not to let the fat burn.
One piece at a time, transfer coated chicken to a fine-mesh strainer and shake to remove excess flour. Transfer to a wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet. When 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 throughout cooking time. Fry chicken until golden brown on first side, about 6 minutes; don’t move the chicken or start checking for doneness until it’s cooked for at least 3 minutes or you could knock off the coating. Carefully flip the chicken pieces with tongs and cook until the other side is golden brown, about 4 minutes longer.
Transfer the finished chicken pieces to a wire rack and let them rest for about 10 minutes.
*Note: You can also use 3 1/2 pounds of boneless, skinless breasts, legs, drumsticks, and/or wings.
1 pound cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
4 whole plum tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
2 whole jalapeño peppers, seeds and veins removed, chopped
1 cup diced jicama or diced peeled apple
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 avocado, pitted and diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Cut the shrimp into half-inch pieces and transfer to a bowl. Postpone
In a small bowl, whisk together lemon, lime and orange juice. Pour 1/2 cup citrus juice over shrimp and toss. Let the shrimp marinate in the juice for 15 minutes.
Add the tomato, jalapeño, jicama (or apple), cilantro, and red onion to the shrimp. Stir the ingredients to combine and let marinate for another 10 minutes. Add avocado and remaining citrus juice.
Season ceviche with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with tortilla chips, if desired.
4 whole chicken breast halves
4 tablespoons of melted margarine
1 can of chicken cream soup
Boil the chicken breasts until done. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the bones and place the chicken pieces in the bottom of an oiled pan. Pour melted margarine over the chicken.
Mix the flour with the milk and pour over the chicken. Combine chicken soup and broth and pour over everything. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
1 (8-ounce) block of cream cheese, softened
1 pound ground soft breakfast sausage, cooked and drained
Combine the softened cream cheese and cooked sausage and place in the bottom of a greased 9×13-inch baking dish. Unfold the crescents and place on top, pinching the seams. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.