Unfold pastry sheets, and roll each sheet into a 14- x 12-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Cut 1 sheet into 4 (7- x 6-inch) rectangles; cut second sheet into 2 (7- x 6-inch) rectangles and 1 (14- x 6-inch) rectangle. Set large rectangle aside. Shape each small rectangle into an oval by trimming off corners. Spread pastry ovals evenly with cheese, leaving a 1/2-inch border around edge.
Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, and place in center of each pastry oval. Lightly moisten pastry edges with water. Fold ends over chicken; fold sides over, pressing to seal. Place each bundle, seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet.
Whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon water; brush mixture over chicken bundles.
Cut designs from reserved pastry sheet, using a small leaf cutter and a small flower cutter. Score leaves with a paring knife, if desired. Use a wooden pick to make a small hole in center of flowers. Cut 6 narrow strips for stems. Dip cutouts in egg mixture, and arrange in a decorative pattern over chicken bundles. Cover and chill up to 24 hours, or bake immediately.
Bake at 400° on lower oven rack 25 minutes or until golden brown.
* 1/2 cup chives-and-onion-flavored cream cheese may be substituted for Alouette cheese.
I've been making this recipe since it first appeared in the SL magazine in the late 80's or early 90's -- it was a recipe submitted by Nancy Clark of Columbia, SC. This never fails to impress, the presentation and flavor is outstanding. And it's so easy to prepare.
I've been making this for special occasions since 1991 when it was made for my birthday dinner! Wonderful Christmas Eve dinner. Not difficult, and the presentation is wonderful. Would suggest using all the accompanying recipes in the bridal luncheon menu, the cranberry and steamed vegetables.....a family and company favorite!
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