Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Technique: Breaded chops

Has this happened to you - you bread and fry up some chops and get your taste buds all ready for a delicious crispy exterior, juicy meat and end up with a crust that falls off and bone dry overcooked chops. Yuck! However once prepared properly you can say good bye to the dry chop blues and hello to a delicious, quick and cheap dinner that the whole family will love. Breaded pan fried pork chops might seem simple, and they are! But don't let their simplicity fool you, there is a technique to getting something as simple as breaded meats right.

Breaded pork chops are a blank canvas for whatever you want them to be. Looking for something simple and clean? Add lemon wedges to each serving and enjoy. The acidity of the lemon really makes the juicy pork sing. Looking for more comfort food? Make a simple gravy to top your chops with an voila! The flavor profile is up to you!

In the recipe I've included some tips and techniques to breading meat that always yields me great success. Having 3 containers to make your 'breading station' is essential to me. I also prebread my meats and allow them to rest with the breading on them before frying for at least 15 minutes ahead of time. This allows the breading to adhere to the meat and gives you a better final result. The same process outlined here works the same for chicken, pork or beef (think chicken fried steak!). Enjoy!

Breaded Pork Chops
makes 3 servings
3 loin cut boneless pork chops
1 egg
1/4 c flour
approx 1 cup crumbs made from 4 slices of white bread
2 sprigs thyme
1 T chopped parsley
kosher salt
season salt
lemon cut into wedges for serving (optional)
oil for frying, up to 1/2 c

Allow the bread slices to stale during the day or dry out in a hot oven. You want them to be similar to toast texture on the exterior, with out the browning. Once bread has dried out & staled break into chunks and place into food processor with the steel blade attached. Add 1/2 t kosher salt, pepper to taste, thyme removed from stems and parsley. Pulse until you have crumbs. There will be a few larger crumbs, that is ok. You want the majority to be small and crumbly. Break up the larger chunks with your hands. Reserve the crumbs for use later.

Begin by removing the fat strip from the pork chops. I do this because I want to pound these chops from the 1 inch thickness that you buy into thinner larger pieces. If the fat strip is left intact it makes this process a lot harder.

Using a meat mallet or heavy bottom pan pound the meat out until its doubled in size and is half as thick.

Season chops with seasoned salt and set aside while you prepare the breading station.

Make a 3 stage breading station:
you'll need 3 rectangular pieces of plastic wear OR 2 plates and 1 bowl (for eggs)
1st container place the flour
2nd container the egg, whipped up like scrambled eggs, incorporating as much white as possible
3rd container the bread crumbs
a sheet tray with a cooling rack set inside of it to receive the breaded chops.

~*~Kitchen Witch Tip: Drop a few pieces of bread crumbs into the oil. If they sizzle and start to brown after a minute then you're ready to go. If they brown up right away the oil is too hot, remove pan from heat and allow to cool before continuing. If the crumbs don't sizzle at all let the pan heat up more. This is an easy test if you don't have a thermometer available.~*~

Bread chops by placing into the flour first. Coat each side with a thin layer of flour, patting off any excess. Next dip the floured meat into the egg wash. Coat both sides with egg. Third, dip egged meat into the bread crumbs. Coat both sides with crumbs, pressing crumbs into the meat for best adhesion. Place breaded pork chops on the cooling rack and allow to rest for 5 minutes minimum before frying. This resting period is very important: it allows the breading to 'stick' to the meat better by absorbing moisture from the meat as well as the egg in the breading. You will get a better crust with a 5 minute rest. I usually bread the chops then heat up the pan while the chops are resting.

Heat the oil in a heavy bottom or cast iron skillet over medium heat until its hot.

Once oil is up to temp fry the chops. Cook for 3-5 min or so on the first side, flipping when the edges are opeque and the breading has browned. Cook on 2nd side, it will take less time then the first side did. You are looking for an internal temperature of 145F for pork. Given that the chops are pounded out this won't take long at all.

Remove chops from the oil and drain. Serve with lemon wedges squeezed onto chops just prior to enjoying.

Nutrition Factsprovided by SparkPeople recipe calculator
Amount Per Serving
Calories 413.7
Total Fat 21.3 g
Saturated Fat 1.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 9.1 g
Cholesterol 99.4 mg
Sodium 1,291.9 mg
Potassium 66.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 26.1 g
Dietary Fiber 1.3 g
Sugars 0.1 g
Protein 26.6 g


StephenC said...

Okay, my friend, we could have a discussion about this. First, I would brine the chops for several hours, then rinse and dry them. I would pound them to less than 1/4 inch. I would heat the oil screaming hot (bread crumb browns immediately) and, after doing flour, egg, and bread crumbs, I would shallow fry them for 1 minute per side. I have done this dozens of times with faultless results. Write me at Cheers.

Cranberry Morning said...

Especially like the tip about waiting til the oil is hot enough to sizzle the bread crumbs. Knowing when to put the chops into the oil is hugely important, I think. And now I have to try StephenC's tips too. But less than a quarter inch?? That's like paper chops.

Big Dude said...

Your chops look delicious and thanks for the tip about resting before cooking.

Jenn said...

Were you saying something? I was lost in the photo of the succulent looking pork chop for a minute, sorry!! hehehe
Great tips Andrea!! Thanks for sharing. I always hate it when I bread something for frying and I go to flip the meat and breading stays in the pan instead of on the meat!! Ugh!

Yenta Mary said...

Those are gorgeous!!! My coatings tend to fall off (I eat them anyway, but it's hardly desirable!). Thanks for the tips, and for taunting me - at work, no less, where pork is verboten!!! - with this! What I would give to indulge right now ... :)

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

I'm with Stephen. He told me to brine and I tried it and he was soooooooo right!!!! Your stations are so helpful though. Great tips.

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner

Mary said...

These look beautiful! You always have great tips and gorgeous photos. It's a pleasure to visit here. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Marysub

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous! I love chops, and I love the tips.

Maria @ A Platter of Figs

Care's Kitchen said...

You have my mouth wateing here! I just want to dig onto these babies! Great tips! Last time I Breaded and fried my chops the breading fell off... You did it just right here! XO

Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. said...

This post is so helpful, Andrea! I have problems with my breading falling off chicken or pork chops all the time!

Raina said...

Yummy! I love a good breaded pork chop. Yours sound delicious. I like that you used thyme; that must add such a nice flavor. Great idea to pound them thinner. I like that idea also to let them rest. I had read to do that one time but never remember to.

Pam said...

The chops look great! This is pretty much the way I bread them. I have some marinading now in a barbecue sauce and wish I had seen this first. Great tips and advice!

Velva said...

Good breaded chops ( thanks for the tips) with mash potatoes and gravy, and a butter vegetable food...Okay, I am day dreaming.

Your breaded chops look awesome.


Mary said...

These look awesome. I haven't breaded anything in ages, because it just doesn't work right for me. I'm going to try this method next time! Thanks!!

Jess said...

Just catching up on blog reading as we've been crazy busy and this post is great. We always have pork chops on hand in the freezer for the reasons you mentioned (cheap, easy to prepare in several ways) and am always looking for new ways to cook them. I had never thought to bread them. We never put breading on meats growing up so I guess I never thought of it, but now I'll have to try it!

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