Arroz Negro ‘black rice’ is one of our favorites - a rich, flavorful paella rarely found outside of Spain. We have searched for an excellent precooked paella for years, but never found one that measured up to the great dishes we have enjoyed in Spain, until now! Our friends at Macuina (‘my kitchen’ in the Valencian dialect) have come up with an ingenious way to deliver true paella to your home, with ingredients unique to Valencia.
Their secret is to provide a flavorful frozen broth along with fresh frozen seafood. You simply add the contents to a paella pan, pour in water and paella rice, and you have an authentic ‘arroz negro’ in about 30 minutes! The seafood is fresh and never cooked, so it is as tender and delicious as it would be in a restaurant in Spain. The main challenge of precooked paella is that the rice tends to get mushy. But in this case, you add the rice so it is freshly cooked and comes out perfectly.
Arroz Negro is the famous ‘black rice’ of Spain, cooked with squid ink and diced squid and cuttlefish. It has a rich, creamy flavor with very little fishiness. The ink adds a striking black presentation, and should be served with a fresh salad, crusty bread and a crisp white wine.
Two tips – remember to use true paella rice from Spain. Long grained rice will not absorb the broth, and other short grained rice will tend to get sticky. Also, cook the paella until all of the broth is absorbed and you start to hear it sizzle. This will create a crunchy ‘socarrat’ on the bottom of the pan, the browned rice that is a favorite aspect of paella in Valencia!