How to make chicken enchiladas the Sonoran way

Enchiladas in Sonora aren’t the rolled, stuffed tortillas covered in salsa and a melted cheese crust that the word might first suggest.

The classic enchilada Sonorenses are built with a stack of tortitas de maiz – small patties that can be made using a corn-based dough or with a mixture of corn and potatoes, as we do in my family to give a lighter texture and flavor — which are layered with shredded chicken dipped in Chile Colorado. From there, the enchiladas are topped with finely shredded iceberg lettuce or collard greens, avocado, cilantro, radishes, and fresh Mexican cream for a beautifully messy dish of simple individual elements that create a complicated whole.