Published in December, 1991, this recipe for Chicken Alouette still remains popular with readers of Southern Living. Ideal for a shower, brunch or holiday meal, pair this dish with a tossed salad, green beans, or a congealed salad. Alouette Cheese is a creamy garlic and herb spreadable cheese found in the dairy section of the grocery store. Aside from using it in this recipe, spread it on apple and pear wedges, or smear it on crostini and top with your favorite jam or preserve. If the chicken breasts seem rather large, you may want to flatten them to a more uniform thickness to ensure even cooking. Place each breast between two sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap and simply use a rolling pin or meat mallet to pound them to the desired size.
Unfold pastry sheets, and roll each sheet into a 14- x 12-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Cut one sheet into four 7- x 6-inch rectangles; cut second sheet into two 7- x 6-inch rectangles and one 12- 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.
Sprinkle chicken breast halves with salt and pepper, and place one in center of each pastry oval. Lightly moisten pastry edges with water. Fold ends over chicken; fold sides over, and press to seal. Place each bundle, seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet.
Cut remaining large pastry rectangle into 12- x 1/4-inch strips. Braid 2 strips together, and place crosswise over chicken bundles, trimming and reserving excess braid; braid two additional strips, and place lengthwise over bundle, trimming and tucking ends under. Repeat procedure with remaining strips. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 hours, if desired.
Combine egg and 1 tablespoon water; brush over pastry bundles. Bake at 400° on lower oven rack 25 minutes or until bundles are golden brown. Garnish, if desired.