Hello, welcome to Djalali Cooks! We are kicking off the weekend with Crunchy Baked Pork Chops. Typically we throw our pork chops on the grill, so this recipe is a new one for me. The herby toasted breadcrumb coating is super flavorful and adds so much great crunchy texture. This is a recipe by America’s Test Kitchen and they’ve figured out an easy way to keep the breadcrumb mixture from falling off the chop: an egg white/flour/dijon mixture that really works! Let’s get to the recipe.
Brine and Breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and be sure the oven rack is in the center position. We will start by brining the boneless pork chops. Dissolve 1/4 cup salt in 1 quart of water, add the chops and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, pulse the bread pieces several times in a food processor to get coarse bread crumbs. Then, mix the breadcrumbs with grapeseed or vegetable oil, shallot, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Mix well to evenly coat the breadcrumbs with olive oil. Spread the mixture out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, stirring a couple times, until the breadcrumbs are golden and toasty.
Let the breadcrumbs cool completely before mixing with the herbs and Parmesan. While the breadcrumbs are cooling, we can chop the herbs and then prep the dredging station. In a shallow bowl or pie dish, place 1/4 cup all purpose flour. In another dish, whisk egg whites and Dijon mustard to a smooth consistency. Then add the 6 tablespoons of flour and whisk to a mostly smooth consistency.
Pie plates make the best wide, shallow vessels for your dredging station. Sturdy, inexpensive pie plates are a great dual purpose kitchen item.
Whisking the egg whites and Dijon.
Whisk to a mostly smooth consistency.
Mix the herbs and the Parmesan into the breadcrumbs on the rimmed baking sheet and set the baking sheet along side the dredging station. Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees and spray a wire cooling rack with cooking spray and place it in a rimmed baking sheet and set it near the bread crumb tray.
Take the chops out of the brine and pat them dry. Then, pepper both sides of the chops and dredge in flour. Shake off the excess and dredge in the egg white mixture, being sure to coat all sides of the chop. Let the excess drip off. Then, coat all sides of the chop with the breadcrumb mixture, pressing the breadcrumbs onto the chop to ensure a thick coating sticks to the meat. Carefully place the chop on the wire rack. Repeat for three remaining chops.
Chop dredged in flour.
Coated in the egg white mixture.
Coat with breadcrumb mixture.
Bake until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees, about 17-25 minutes. Let the chops rest on the wire rack for about 5 minutes before serving. About 7 minutes before they were done, I tossed some asparagus in olive oil and sprinkled them with salt and pepper. I just placed the asparagus on the wire rack next to to the chops to roast for about 7-8 minutes.
Such a gorgeous crispy, crunchy crust on these pork chops. Since they’re baked, they aren’t oily; the breadcrumbs are really well-flavored with the fresh herbs and the Parmesan cheese. The recipe and method for breading these pork chops will be a great recipe to keep handy for other proteins, like chicken and fish. I think it would be amazing for breading giant portobello mushrooms or thick eggplant slices too.
Another hit from America’s Test Kitchen. I hope you give this recipe for Crunchy Baked Pork Chops a try. As I mentioned, I think the breading is so versatile and you could really get creative and make it your own. It’s so simple, but there’s something fancy-feeling about breaded pork chops. The beautiful golden color, flecked with fresh herbs; the satisfying crunch when you slice into the chop. If you want to skip the breading and go with a tenderloin, check out my recipe for Stuffed Pork Tenderloin.
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Kitchen Items Used in This Recipe
Anchor Hocking 9.5-inch Pie Dish
Pyrex 9.5-inch Pie Baking Dish
Nordic Ware Sheet Pans – Set of 3
Cambro 2-qt. Container
Carbon Steel Nonstick Cooling Rack
Crunchy Baked Pork Chops
Baked to crispy perfection, the breading on these brined pork chops is beautifully seasoned with fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese.
- 1/4 cup Kosher Salt
- 4 Center-cut Boneless Pork Chops, 6 to 8 ounces each, 3/4 to 1 inch thick, trimmed of excess fat
- 4 Slices Hearty White Sandwich Bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
- 1 Small Shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
- 3 Medium Garlic Cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
- 2 tbsp. Vegetable Oil
- Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- 2 tbsp. Grated Parmesan Cheese
- ½ tsp. Minced Fresh Thyme Leaves
- 2 tbsp. Minced Fresh Parsley Leaves
- ¼ cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour plus 6 tablespoons
- 3 Large Egg Whites
- 3 tbsp. Dijon Mustard
- Lemon Wedges
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.
Dissolve 1/4 cup Kosher salt in 1 quart water in medium container or gallon-sized Ziplock bag. Submerge chops, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, pulse bread in food processor until coarsely ground, about eight 1-second pulses (you should have about 3 1/2 cups crumbs). Transfer crumbs to a medium-sized bowl and add shallot, garlic, oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss until crumbs are evenly coated with oil.
Bake until deep golden brown and dry, about 15 minutes, stirring twice during baking time. (Do not turn off oven.)
Cool to room temperature. Toss crumbs with Parmesan, thyme, and parsley.
Place 1/4 cup flour in pie plate. In second pie plate, whisk egg whites and mustard until combined; add remaining 6 tablespoons flour and whisk until almost smooth, with pea-sized lumps remaining.
Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Spray wire rack with nonstick cooking spray and place in rimmed baking sheet.
Dry chops thoroughly with paper towels. Season chops with pepper. Dredge 1 pork chop in flour; shake off excess. Using tongs, coat with egg mixture; let excess drip off. Coat all sides of chop with bread crumb mixture, pressing gently so that thick layer of crumbs adheres to chop. Transfer breaded chop to wire rack. Repeat with remaining 3 chops.
Bake until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of chops registers 150 degrees, 17 to 25 minutes. Let rest on rack 5 minutes before serving with lemon wedges.