Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Thank You Cook's Illustrated for Crunchy Baked Pork Chops

Please try this recipe, but please get ready for an awesome, juicy on the inside, crunchy on the outside chop, full of flavor. I would call this recipe a little messy and dish dirtying, but worth it. Because our chops were on the large side, the cook time was a little longer---that is where your instant read thermometer comes in handy.

Crunchy Baked Pork Chops
Cook's Illustrated, Best of 2009
serves four

4 (6 to 8 ounce) boneless, center-cut pork chops, 3/4 to 1 inch thick, trimmed of excess fat
4 slices high-quality white sandwich bread, torn into 1 inch pieces (I used day old french bread)
1 shallot, minced (3 tablespoons)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1/4 cup plus 6 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
3 large egg whites
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Lemon wedges, for serving

1.. Preheat oven to 350 with the oven rack positioned in middle position
( If your purchased chops are enhanced, skip this step.) Dissolve 1/4 cup of salt in 1 quart of water in a gallon sized zip-lock bag.
Brine chops for 30 minutes. Rinse under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

2. Pulse the bread in the food processor until coarsely ground (about 8 1-second pulses) You will need about 3 1/2 cups crumbs. Transfer crumbs to a rimmed baking sheet and add the shallot, garlic, oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss until the crumbs are evenly coated with oil. Bake until golden brown and dry, about 15 minutes, stirring twice during baking. Do not turn off the oven. Cool the crumbs to room temperature. Toss the crumbs with the Parmesan cheese, thyme and parsley.

3. Place 1/4 cup of the flour in a pie plate. In a second pie plate, whisk the egg whites and mustard until combined, add the remaining 6 tablespoons flour and whisk until almost smooth. Pea sized lumps are okay.

4. Increase oven temp. to 425 degrees. Spray a wire rack with vegetable oil spray and place in a rimmed baking sheet. Season the chops with pepper. Dredge 1 pork chop with flour and shake off the excess. Coat all sides of the chop with the egg mixture, then in the bread crumb mixture, pressing gently so that a thick layer of crumbs adhere to the chop. Transfer the chop to the prepared wire rack. Repeat with the remaining 3 chops.

5. Bake until an instant- read thermometer registers 140 degrees when inserted into the middle of the thickest part, about 17-25 minutes. Let rest on the rack until thermometer reads 150 degrees, about 5 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.


  1. Yes, yes and yes to everything you said! (Love your blog title, by the way!). Just wanted to vouch that this recipe is delicious! We had the original version (this one here) earlier this year, and today I made the variation (also from CI) with Prosciutto and Asiago cheese. My husband and I loved them! I have the recipes from Cooking for Two 2009 so they're just scaled down versions. I love Cook's Illustrated!

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