My standard chicken Parmesan recipe which is a family favorite is unbreaded and seasoned a quick dip in olive oil seasoned with fresh herbs (a la Giada's Chicken Parmesan recipe floating around the Internet). For years, I have dipped the breasts in the oil/herb mixture, pan seared a few minutes on each side and then baked. A few nights ago I had a big craving for chicken Parmesan but was feeling more than slightly lazy and was no very gung ho to get involved in the whole process of searing and then baking. Though I mustered enough "energy" to do a quick sear, it occurred to me that I wasn't exactly sure the purpose of the sear. If the breasts are breaded, searing before baking makes sense as it is crisps up the breading and helps it stick to the meat, however is there any purpose to searing before baking with unbreaded breasts other than to brown them a bit. Could I probably just bake them under the layer of sauce and cheese as usual and skip the sear? Thanks in advance.