Oven-fried chicken is a favorite of Mickey Strang's because it can be served warm or cold. She livened up this version with sharp cheddar cheese and ancho chili powder. Have a whole chicken cut into pieces at the meat market, or buy 3 3/4 pounds breast, leg, and thigh pieces. As a quicker alternative to making your own bread crumbs, use 1 1/2 cups purchased dried bread crumbs.
6 slices (about 5 oz.) day-old or slightly stale bread (see note above)
1/2 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 teaspoon ground dried ancho chilies or chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 chicken (about 4 lb.), neck and giblets removed, cut into 8 pieces (see note above)
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
How to Make It
Toast bread slices. Let cool, then tear into 1-inch chunks. Whirl in a food processor to make coarse crumbs.
In a large shallow bowl, mix bread crumbs, cheese, ground chilies, and salt.
Rinse chicken and pat dry. Dip in beaten egg and roll in crumb mixture to coat. Place on a foil-lined 12- by 15-inch baking sheet.
Bake in a 375° regular or 350° convection oven until crumbs are browned and chicken is no longer pink at the bone (cut to test), 45 minutes to 1 hour.