Pork chops come from the loin portion of the hog, which runs from the shoulder to the hip. Pork chops are simple to cook and yield delicious, juicy results. Bone-in chops have more flavor, but boneless chops are more versatile. Breading pork chops adds flavor and creates a crispy coating. Timing is important. For best results, bread pork chops before you bake them.
Bread and fry your pork chops before you oven-bake them. Breading sticks best to pork chops that you have chilled. If you bake them first, the breading is likely to fall off during cooking. For delicious, fast-cooking pork chops, marinate the pork chops overnight. Drain the marinade and season the chops with salt and pepper. Dredge them in the breading and saute them in a bit of oil in a skillet. Depending on the thickness of the chops, they might already be cooked through. If not, transfer them to the oven for additional cooking time.
Pork chops have a mild, sweet flavor that pairs well with a variety of ingredients. One of the best marinades for pork chops is plain milk, which tenderizes the meat. You can also try a marinade of fruit juice, oil and seasonings. For the breading, use seasoned bread crumbs, flour, cornmeal or even pancake mix. Remember to season the breading well and salt and pepper the meat before you dredge it. Otherwise, the chops will taste bland.
Pork chops cook quickly and become dry if overcooked. How long to cook them depends on your cooking method and the thickness of the chops, but in general, they need between 12 to 16 minutes of cooking time. When finished, the chops should be golden brown on the outside, and the meat should be slightly pink, white or light gray. The juices should run clear, and a thermometer inserted in the flesh should read 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you've already cooked the pork chops in the oven, don't despair; you can use one of a variety of ways to finish chops besides breading. Try glazing them with a combination of apricot or blackberry jelly combined with a little juice, wine and mustard. Or, move the pan to the stove top and transfer the pork chops to a serving platter. Scrape the pan to remove all the bits of meat stuck to it and add a little chicken broth to the pan with the drippings. Bring to a simmer and add some wine or juice. Allow the sauce to reduce by about one-third so it thickens slightly. Remove it from the heat and add a few tablespoons of cream for a delicious, savory sauce. Season pork chops well with salt, pepper and thyme or herbes de Provence.
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