Cooks' BEST OVEN-FRIED CHICKEN

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 box (about 5 ounces) plain Melba toast, 
    processed to sand-pebble texture, avoid over-crushing
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
whole cut-up chicken, skin removed, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels

1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 400 F. Line sheet pan with foil and set large flat wire rack over sheet pan.

2. Drizzle vegetable oil over Melba toast crumbs in a shallow dish or pie plate; toss well to coat. Mix eggs, mustard, thyme, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder, and optional cayenne with a fork in a second shallow dish or pie plate.

3. Working one piece at a time, coat chicken on both sides with egg mixture. Set chicken in Melba crumbs, sprinkle crumbs over chicken, and press to coat. Turn chicken over and repeat on other side. Gently shake off excess and place on rack. Bake until chicken is deep nutty brown and juices run clear, about 40 minutes.

Serves 4 

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