Chicken Fried Pork Chops

In Texas, it seems like we will chicken fry just about anything. I’ve seen pickles, short ribs and (of course) the ever popular chicken fried steak, but one of my favorites is the chicken fried pork chop. Pork loin is a very affordable cut of meat, but it can be notoriously dry if overcooked. To keep it moist, I’ve cooked it in the Sous Vide or smoked it as a roast, but the best way to keep loin chops from drying out is to chicken fry it. Pair it with some Sausage Gravy and you are in southern-fried-heaven!

For the brine:
3 cups water
½ cup brine mixture (I used a pre-made store bought)

For the pork chops:
4 boneless pork loin chops, pounded to ½ inch thick
1 cup buttermilk
Few dashes hot sauce (I used Frank’s)
2 cups flour
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. salt. More to taste after frying (the brine is fairly salty)
Canola or peanut oil for frying

To prepare the brine: in a medium saucepot, combine water and brine mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once brine mixture is fully dissolved in water, turn off heat and let cool completely. Pound boneless pork chops to ½ inch thick and pour the cooled brine over the chops. Let sit in refrigerator 6-8 hours.

When ready to cook, remove pork from brine, rinse and pat dry. In one bowl, combine buttermilk and hot sauce (if using). In another, combine flour, black pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and salt. Dip the pork chops in the buttermilk, then dredge in flour mixture. Dip back in the buttermilk and into the flour again to ensure a thick crispy coating.

Heat oil on medium-low heat. Place breaded pork chops in pan when oil looks shimmery (chops should sizzle in pan). Fry for 5-7 minutes per side until crispy. Remove from pan and let drain on a wire rack. Serve as is, or topped with Sausage Gravy.

Wine Pairings:
Montgo Monastrell 2012