Some people are obsessed with French fries; my weakness is for onion rings. I came up with this baked version after deciding that getting an occasional fix with the fried kind from the local dive bar just wasn't cutting it. —pantryhero
Pour the oil onto a medium baking sheet. (The more tarnished and darker, the better.) Place in the oven, turn the oven to 375°, and let the pan and oil get hot while you prep everything else.
Cut the onion crosswise into 1/2" slices and separate out the rings. I usually get 2 slices out of half an onion, and it makes plenty of rings for 2 people.
Place the flour in a bag. (I use a plastic grocery store bag.) Add the onion rings and shake until evenly coated.
Place the egg in a shallow bowl and whisk to blend.
Place the breadcrumbs and all of the rest of the ingredients (salt through pepper) into a different shallow bowl and stir to blend.
Take one flour-coated onion ring and throughly coat it with the beaten egg, then thoroughly coat it with the breadcrumb mixture. (This part is kind of a pain, but starting with the bigger rings—while there are more crumbs—seems to help. I also find it easiest to use my left hand for the egg part and my right hand for the breadcrumb part.) Place the prepared ring on a cutting board.
Continue step 6 until all of the rings are coated.
Using an oven mitt! remove the hot pan from the oven. Use a spatula to spread the oil around evenly. Place the onion rings on the pan, return to the oven, and bake for about 6-8 minutes. Flip, turn the heat up to 400°, and bake for another 6-8 minutes. Enjoy immediately.