This was transcribed verbatim from a hand-written recipe by my late great-aunt Nettie Zeringue (of da Nint' Ward, and then Da Parish), with a few annotations.

She passed this on to me when I first moved to California, and it came in handy when I had to fend for myself to get Louisiana food. Thanks, Aunt Nettie!

"If you bought a whole chicken, season and broil the breasts, legs and thighs to serve as an entree with the rice. If you're making this as a side dish for something else, then ...

"Put the gizzards, livers, wings, necks, backs, etc., in the water, bring to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes. (Skim off any scum that rises to the surface.) Let cool and remove the meat from the bones. Finely mince the meat and giblets, then return to the water; set aside for the moment.

"Melt the butter in a heavy pot, then add rice and fry until brown. Add onions, garlic, celery, bell pepper and parsley, and fry until transparent.

"Heat the chicken and broth again, and add to the rice. The water should be about one inch above the rice; if needed add extra water.

"Add seasoning, bring to a boil and cook until the water has almost evaporated and is just bubbling on top of the rice. Stir to prevent sticking. Cover and cook over low heat for about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let rice set for about 10 minutes. When ready to serve, stir rice well.

"Very tasty," said Aunt Nettie.

She added, "If you would like to make jambalaya, you can use this dirty rice recipe except for the giblets. I put whatever I want, sometimes shrimp, smoked sausage, ham, or whatever. The shrimp jambalaya is the best."


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Chuck Taggart   (e-mail chuck)