A double dose of Parmesan yields layers of deliciousness in this comforting dish. First, pounded chicken breasts are coated in Parmesan and pan-fried to a golden, crunchy exterior. They're then topped with a quick tomato sauce and more Parmesan and mozzarella before a quick trip under the broiler for a gooey, cheesy finish. Serve with a side of pasta for an easy riff on chicken Parm.
Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise, making 4 equal pieces. (They should look like large chicken tenders.) Put one sheet of plastic wrap on a cutting board, put a piece of chicken in the center of it and top with another sheet of plastic wrap. Pound the chicken with the flat side of a meat mallet, starting from the center and working your way out to the edges, until the chicken is 1/4 inch thick. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
Grate the Parmesan in a food processor using the grater attachment to yield about 2 cups. Transfer 1/4 cup to a small bowl and mix with the mozzarella; set aside.
Transfer the remaining Parmesan to a plate or shallow bowl. Add the garlic powder, onion powder and 1 teaspoon of the Italian seasoning and toss with your hands to combine. Beat the eggs, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper in a separate shallow bowl.
Dip one piece of chicken into the egg mixture, coating it on both sides. Press both sides of the chicken into the Parmesan mixture, pressing with your hands to help the cheese stick. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken. If any of the Parmesan mixture remains in the plate, press it onto the chicken.
Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, reduce the heat to medium and cook until the cheese is a nice golden brown and the chicken can be lifted easily from the skillet, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the chicken and continue to cook until the cheese on the other side is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet. Wipe away any pieces of cheese that remain in the skillet.
Reduce the heat to low, add the garlic to the skillet and quickly stir just to soften, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce, sugar, red pepper flakes, remaining 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Cover slightly to prevent splattering and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.
Spoon 2 tablespoons of the sauce over top of each chicken piece. Divide the reserved Parmesan-mozzarella mixture over the chicken. Broil, watching closely, until the cheese is melted and turning golden brown in spots, 2 to 4 minutes depending on your broiler.
To serve, spoon some sauce onto a plate and top with a piece of chicken. Garnish the chicken with some basil leaves and serve with a side of pasta, if desired.
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