I've heard it said that pork chops can end up being the driest slice of meat people have served in their kitchen. Heck, I remember eating a few dry pieces here and there in my childhood (Sorry Mom! I LOVE you, woman). This never really made sense to me - even my husband said that he's used to eating dry pork chops (gasp!). Thanks, love. I must have been on the cooking-the-pork-to-its-second-death train, too. Yikes.
But let me tell you this - breading the pork chop the exact way I bread my always-requested breaded chicken, has been a revelation. It was 100% juicy, and my husband didn't even know I had just served him the pork-chops he apparently would politely chew his way through. He thought it was chicken with a little bacon-esque aftertaste! It was awesome, and he begged me to make sure I "share this one on the blog." He just kept shaking his head in disbelief that I could get a pork chop so juicy. Well, friends, I'm telling you how.
It's all about the cooking process, and how much you know about your meat. The thickness is a huge factor. I was so used to buying those little thin slices of pork chops and then frying the heck out of them until they were basically a chewy mess. Sure, it tasted like pork, and the flavors were all there, but the texture was so distracting, we never really thought to have pork chops often because of it. What I do at the supermarket is the first step: I choose the package with two big chunks of pork chop (I'm talking 1-inch thick each). Then when I get home, and we're ready to eat these beauties for dinner, I slice them in half, creating four 1/2 thick pieces. I salt them well before I bread them, and I think that gets the process on its lovely way.
Next, I kind of cheat by breading them. It adds a fun texture, but doesn't really allow the pork chops under the breading to dry out as quickly. I make sure to NOT OVERCOOK the dang things, too. I think that's where we tend to destroy the poor little pork chops! I turn the heat down when they're still slightly undercooked inside, and let them simmer on low for a couple minutes. I then remove them from the pan, place them on a clean plate, and then cover them again with a lid. Letting them sit is huge. It helps the meat seep in all the juices, and the moisture (I've been trying to not use "moist" in this post... but we kind of had to go there. Haha) remains in the meat.
All these steps combined are going to give you the most juicy slice of pork chops you can imagine! I promise! We've tried and tested this method several times (I shamelessly like to think that I'm kind of a pro when it comes to breading meats, so trust me, my loves!). It was such an easy weeknight meal, and we served it alongside some bright green peas and my husband's favorite couscous. Dinner, done.
Hope you all had a fun weekend! I'm sorry-not-sorry for flooding my Instagram with sweet things this weekend. But we're back in the weekday flow again, so back to the regular family-friendly, mostly-healthy, easier-than-life dinners right to your fingertips! Love you all, and see you in a couple days with more delicious recipes!
Breaded Pork Chops
makes 4 servings
4 1/2-inch thick pork chops
salt & pepper
1 C Japanese Panko bread crumbs
1 C Italian bread crumbs
2 eggs, whisked + splash of water
1/2 C flour
1. Prep pork chops with a little sprinkle of salt on both sides. Set aside.
2. Prepare three bowls for the breading process: 1) flour, 2) eggs whisked, plus a teeny splash of water, 3) Panko & Italian bread crumbs.
3. Heat about 1/2 C oil in a large pan with a fitting lid (use the lid later) to medium heat. One by one, using one hand for wet ingredients only, and one hand for dry ingredients only, coat the pork chop in flour first, submerge in the egg batter, let any egg pieces drip off a little bit, then place the pork chop in the crumb mixture and press the pork chop gently around on both sides to completely coat it everywhere. Place gently into the oil, and repeat with remaining pork chops.
4. Cook the bottom side of the pork chop until golden, then gently flip to the other side. Salt and pepper the pork chops. When both sides have been cooked until golden, (add a teeny bit more oil if needed) turn the heat to the lowest setting (low or simmer), and cover with a lid. Cook for 5-7 minutes until pork chops have barely cooked through, do not overcook. Remove from the oil and place on a plate. Cover with the lid again for about 3 minutes to rest, then serve with fresh veggies and parmesan couscous or rice.
Recipe Source: Baking with Blondie