Why choose red or green when you can have both? Almost all the components of these stunning enchiladas can be made ahead. Here’s how to pull it off: Poach the chicken, make both sauces, and prepare the crème fraîche topping in advance. The day of, reheat the sauces and chicken, fry the tortillas, and assemble. Or to simplify, choose just one of the sauces and make a double recipe. You’ll end up with a harmonious batch of enchiladas verdes or rojas, accordingly.
- ½ white onion, coarsely chopped
- 3 small serrano chiles, halved lengthwise, seeds removed if desired
- 12 oz. tomatillos (6–7), husks removed, rinsed, halved
- 1 cup cilantro leaves with tender stems
- ¼ white onion, coarsely chopped
- 3 guajillo chiles, seeds removed
- 2 dried chiles de árbol (optional; omit for a milder sauce)
- 3 plum tomatoes, quartered
- ⅓ cup crumbled queso fresco
- Sliced white onion (for serving)
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium. Cook onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add chiles and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is lightly browned and vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatillos and cook, stirring occasionally, just until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add cilantro and 1½ cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until tomatillos soften, 20–25 minutes. Let cool slightly; transfer to a blender. Purée until smooth; season with salt. Return salsa verde to saucepan and keep warm until ready to use.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add both chiles, tomatoes, and 1½ cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until tomatoes and chiles soften, 20–25 minutes. Return salsa roja to saucepan and keep warm until ready to use.
Place chicken, bay leaves, and allspice in a small pot and pour in water to cover by 1"; season lightly with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer gently until chicken is nearly cooked through (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of chicken should register 145°–150°), 20–25 minutes from the time water starts simmering. Let chicken cool at least 1 hour (it should be just warm). If you have the time, cover and chill up to 12 hours.
Remove chicken from broth. Pull meat from bones and shred; discard skin and bones. Place meat in a large saucepan and pour in just enough broth to cover. Set aside any remaining broth for another use. Gently reheat chicken over medium-low; season with salt.
Meanwhile, mix crème fraîche and queso fresco in a small bowl to combine.
Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high until hot but not smoking. Submerge each tortilla in oil long enough to soften but not so long that they fall apart, 5–10 seconds each. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain.
Working one at a time, fill each tortilla with about ⅓ cup shredded chicken and roll up tightly. Place 3 tortillas each, seam side down, into bowls. Ladle ½ cup of each sauce on opposite ends of enchiladas. Top with a big spoonful of crème fraîche mixture and scatter onion over.
Do Ahead: Chicken can be poached and shredded 3 days ahead. Place in a small bowl and pour in broth to submerge; cover and chill.