Enchanting Stories of New Mexico: Unveiling the Lincoln County War and the Process of Roasting Hatch Green Chili

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Welcome to “Enchanting Stories of New Mexico – Episode 11.” In this episode, we will explore the fascinating history of the Lincoln County War in New Mexico, as well as the intricate process of roasting Hatch Green Chili. It’s an exciting journey through time and taste, so join us as we uncover the hidden stories of this enchanting state.

The Roasting Process: From Field to Flavor

One of the most beloved traditions in New Mexico is the roasting of Hatch Green Chili. The journey from field to flavor involves a careful selection of ripe peppers and skillful roasting. The fresh chili company in Las Cruces, New Mexico, specializes in this process. They bring you the finest Hatch Green Chili from locally owned farms in Hatch, New Mexico, the chili capital of the world.

To ensure the peppers are at the perfect stage of growth, experienced farmers carefully pick them at the right moment. These green chili peppers are then taken to the fresh chili company’s plant in Las Cruces for fire roasting. The roasting process requires a hot flame, as propane burners are used to quickly scorch the outer waxy layer of the peppers. This gives the chili a distinct charred flavor while allowing the removal of the outer skin without damaging the delicious meat inside.

After the roasting process, the chili is prepared into 16-ounce jars. The result is a flavorful and aromatic Hatch Green Chili that captures the essence of New Mexico. From watching the peppers ripen to the harvest and roasting, the production of Hatch Green Chili is a labor of love that results in some of the best chili you can taste.

The Search for Rain: A Boyhood Memory

Delving into the memories of the past, the narrator shares a childhood experience in Japan. Living near rice fields, he witnessed the delicate process of rice farming and its dependency on the right amount of rainfall. The rice farmers would sing chants to either start or stop the rain, and the young narrator eagerly joined in. Even though time has faded away the chants, the memory remains, bringing a sense of nostalgia and fascination for the power of nature.

The Philosophy of Cowboys: More than Horses and Cattle

Ramon Adams, a renowned author on the Old West, once said, “Today’s Cowboy must know more than how to handle horses and cattle.” This rings true even more in the present day, where ranching requires knowledge in economics, genetics, efficiency, and the ability to endure disappointment. Cowboys and farmers share a common resilience and a code of ethics that has stood the test of time. Through Adams’ books, such as “The Old-Time Cowboy” and “The Cowboy and His Humor,” we gain insight into the rich history and philosophy of the Old West.

The Legacy of the Lincoln County War

Moving on to a significant event in New Mexico’s history, we explore the Lincoln County War. In the late 1800s, New Mexico was striving to become a state while facing issues of lawlessness and conflict. The Lincoln County War, which reached its peak in July 1878, was a battle between rival factions over economic and political control. The Dolan-Murphy Seven Rivers Cowboys clashed with Billy the Kid and his associates, known as the “regulars.”

The three-day gun battle in Lincoln was a brutal display of violence and highlighted the challenges the territory faced during that time. Historians and authors have extensively written about this period, with dozens of books dedicated to unraveling the complexities and aftermath of the Lincoln County War. The territorial governor of New Mexico, Samuel Axtell, was ultimately replaced by Civil War General Lou Wallace, who went on to achieve literary fame with his novel “Ben Hur.”

The Forgotten Heroes: Pat Garrett and George Coe

While the Lincoln County War brought fame to figures like Billy the Kid, there are unsung heroes who deserve recognition. Pat Garrett, the sheriff of Lincoln County, played a pivotal role in capturing Billy the Kid in 1881. Later, he served as the sheriff of Dona Ana County. Despite the significance of his actions, a dedicated celebration to honor Pat Garrett has yet to materialize.

Another individual connected to the Lincoln County War was George Coe, who fought alongside Billy the Kid as one of the “regulars.” Coe’s autobiography, “Frontier Fighter,” offers valuable insights into the conflict and provides a firsthand account of the events that unfolded during that time. Today, Coe’s descendants continue to live in the valley, keeping the memory of their ancestor alive.

Celebrations, Birthdays, and Fishing in New Mexico

In the spirit of celebration, we acknowledge the birthday of William Calhoun McDonald, the first elected governor of New Mexico. With his campaign slogan, “Good government and a fair shake,” McDonald embodied the principles of fairness and effective leadership. From his humble beginnings in New York to his ventures in New Mexico’s gold fields, McDonald’s journey is one of ambition and vision.

On a lighter note, we explore the fishing opportunities in New Mexico, particularly at Elephant Butte Lake. This scenic lake offers a chance for anglers to catch species such as blue catfish, crappie, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, striped bass, and white bass. Whether you’re fishing from the shoreline or by boat, the experience is enhanced by the pleasant warmth of the New Mexico sun.


As we conclude this episode of “Enchanting Stories of New Mexico,” we reflect on the rich history and cultural experiences that define the state. From the roasting of Hatch Green Chili to the tales of the Wild West, there is something enchanting about the stories that unfold in New Mexico. As we continue our exploration, we invite you to join us on this journey through time and taste, discovering the hidden gems that make this state truly unique.

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