1½ cup panko or 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese plus extra for serving
1/2 cup flour
1½ tsp. garlic powder
Table salt and ground pepper
3 large egg whites or 2 eggs
1 tbsp. water
Vegetable cooking spray
3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (sliced in half horizontally or pounded)
2 cups tomato sauce, warmed (see recipe)
3/4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Simple Tomato Sauce:
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. olive oil
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
Basil to taste
Salt and pepper
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475º. Combine bread crumbs and oil in a 12 in. skillet and toast over medium heat, stirring often until golden, about 10 minutes. Spread the bread crumbs in a shallow dish and cool slightly; when cool, stir in the Parmesan.
In second shallow dish, combine flour, garlic powder, 1 tbsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. In third shallow dish, whisk egg whites or eggs and water.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, place a wire rack on top, and spray rack with vegetable oil spray. Pat the chicken dry, then season with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge the cutlets in flour, shaking off excess, then dip into egg mixture, and finally coat with bread crumbs. Press on the bread crumbs to make sure they adhere. Lay chicken on wire rack.
Spray chicken with vegetable oil spray. Bake until the meat is no longer pink in center and feels firm, about 15-20 min.
Remove chicken from oven. Spoon 2 tbsp. tomato sauce onto the center of each cutlet and top the sauce with 2 tbsp. mozzarella. Return chicken to oven and continue to bake until the cheese is melted, about 5 min. Sprinkle with basil and serve, passing the remaining sauce and parm. cheese.
For Simple Tomato Sauce:
Pulse 1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes til smooth; set aside. Cook 4 medium cloves garlic (chopped or pressed), 1 tbsp. tomato paste, 1 tsp. olive oil, and 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes in medium saucepan over medium heat until the tomato paste starts to brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in pureed tomatoes and cook until the sauce is thickened and measures 2 cups, about 20 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper.