Pat dry each chicken breast and place it on a cutting board. With a sharp knife, butterfly each piece into two halves, beginning from one end to the other.
In a shallow dish, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. In another shallow dish, whisk the eggs and water. In a third dish, combine the breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and Parmesan cheese if using.
Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture making sure to shake off excess flour from both sides back into the dish. Then, coat both sides with the egg mixture, letting any excess egg drip back into the dish. Transfer the coated chicken into the breadcrumbs dish, making sure to press down to coat the surface of the chicken on both sides.
In a large cast-iron skillet or pan with high sides, heat enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan over medium-high heat. Add the breaded chicken breasts, two at a time, and cook for 3 minutes per side or until the crust is golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165F.
Repeat the process with the remaining chicken breasts, removing any burnt tidbits from the pan if necessary and adding a little more oil to the grease the pan, as needed.