- Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Sweat the onions, garlic and bay leaves, stirring, until soft, about five minutes. Add olives, if used, and some torn basil leaves, to taste. Drain and crush tomatoes. Add tomatoes. Cook and stir until liquid is mostly evaporated and the sauce is thick, about fifteen minutes. Keep warm over lowest heat setting.
- On a cutting board, place a layer of plastic wrap. Place a checken breast in the middle of the plastic wrap. Cover with an additional sheet of plastic wrap. Use a meat mallet to gently pound and flatten the chicken breasts to about ½-inch thick.
- On a plate, place flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Place the eggs in a bowl, add water and beat lightly until just frothy. On a second plate spread out the bread crumbs, season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Heat an oven proof pan over medium high heat. Add ¼ cup of olive oil. When the olive oil is hot, dredge each chicken portion in the flour, coating both side, shaking off excess. Dip in the egg mixture, coating both sides, let excess drip back onto bowl. Dredge in bread crumbs, covering both sides, shake off excess crumbs.
- Place in the hot oil. Fry until golden brown and crusty, about four minutes each side. Ladle the reserved sauce over the chicken pieces. Sprinkle the Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, the remaining basil over the top. Bake uncovered in a pre-heated 450 oven until the cheese is hot and bubbly, about fifteen minutes.
This dish pairs well with pasta, rice and potatoes with a vegetable for a complete dinner, or it can be served alone with a tossed green salad.