Wednesday, October 12

The Land of Enchantment

. . . that's what they call New Mexico.  The Land of Enchantment, a land of contradictions, of fire and flood, of rich and poor, of life and death, of strife, of struggle, of smoke and sand.  It's a harsh land; parched and hot in the summer, intensely frigid in the winter.  Never have I been so cold as I was one winter evening sailing down the Pecos in southern New Mexico.  Life fights for its survival here - culture thrives.


 There is an ancient energy that hovers over this land.  A remnant of past civilizations.  Native American chants still beat steadily through every rock, tree, and flower that finds life in the red clay soil.

Here you are a little closer to the spirit world.

If ever there is a place the truly defines rugged beauty, this is it.  No wonder they call it the Land of Enchantment.

I spent my childhood summers here; playing at the roots of Pinon trees, amongst the sagebrush and cholla cactus.  We collected iron filings from the damp clay after summer rainstorms had washed the desert into a thousand snaking rivulets.  We hiked, in search of pottery shards, on ancient trails carved out gently over hundreds of years by soft, moccasined feet through the rough terrain.

The essence of pinon smoke and the colors of the Sangre de Cristos at sunset are woven deep into my soul.  I always feel at home when I come here.

Among many other things, New Mexico is known for their famous Hatch green chiles.  I recently traveled to my beloved New Mexico and returned with a bag of these wonderful chiles.  And I was inspired to write this recipe for green chile stew.  Be prepared for more New Mexican treats . . .  I also returned with a new cookbook: circa 1951 "Authentic Indian-Mexican Recipes," which I can't wait to dive into.

Taos Green Chile and Chicken Stew

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs and/or breasts
3 cups chicken stock
1 tsp cumin
1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
dash of pepper
1-2 large roasted Hatch green chiles, chopped

2 cans cannellini or pinto beans
1/4 cup long grain brown rice
splash of white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp agave nectar or honey

Mix the first 8 ingredients in your slow cooker or crock pot.  Cook on low for 4-5 hours.  Two hours before serving stir in the beans and rice, and break the chicken into chunks with your spoon.  Cook 2 hours longer.  Taste for seasonings and add more salt and pepper if needed.  Finish with the agave nectar and a splash of vinegar to balance out the flavors (no more than a tablespoon).  Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese and chopped avocado.


  1. Wow, this hardy soup looks amazing!!! We are a huge fan of beans over here so I am sure the whole family would love this! Thank you so much for sharing on Recipe of the Week! XO

  2. Thank you for hosting, and allowing me to share. I can't wait for the next one!

  3. This looks wonderful! Thanks for sharing your recipe with the Hearth and Soul Hop. I really enjoyed your pictures of the "land of enchantment".

  4. This looks like it would be so tasty and satisfying. New Mexico is near the top of my travel list, so hopefully I'll get there soon! Thanks for sharing this with Sunday Night Soup Night, look forward to seeing you again soon!