My inspiration came from Giada DeLaurentiis' Crunchy Parmesan Chicken which I love. She uses buttermilk as a marinade/first coating before dipping the chicken into a parmesan-breadcrumb mixture. It tenderizes and also keeps the chicken moist while it bakes at a very high temperature of 500 degrees.
My spin on this dish is to use chicken cutlets in place of the tenders and swap out the buttermilk for fat-free plain yogurt. The result: Oh my. So Good!
Baked Chicken Parmesan
4 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup fat-free plain yogurt (If it is too thick add 1 tablespoon milk or water)
4 boneless skinless chicken cutlets
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups plus 1/8 cup divided, freshly grated Parmesan
3/4 cup Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup marinara sauce
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Brush 1 tablespoon of oil over each of 2 heavy large lined baking sheets. Place the yogurt in a large bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Let stand at least 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes.
Stir the 1 1/4 cups of Parmesan and bread crumbs in a pie dish. Remove the chicken from the yogurt (shaking to remove excess) and dredge them in the bread crumb mixture to coat completely, pressing to adhere. Arrange the coated chicken on the prepared baking sheets, spacing evenly. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over the chicken and bake until they are cooked through and golden brown, about 12 minutes.(Flip them half way through cooking for even browning).
Add about 1 tablespoon sauce and about 1 tablespoon of mozzarella on top of each cutlet. Sprinkle each cutlet evenly with remaining parmesan cheese. Bake for another 5 minutes until cheese is melted.
Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve with pasta if desired.