Stuffed Pork Chops
        (from America's Test Kitchen)

These stuffed pork chops may be served with All-Purpose Gravy, applesauce, or Quick Ginger-Apple Chutney. The gravy is best made before you start the chops and then reheated as needed. If you choose to serve the chops with the chutney instead, prepare it in the skillet used to cook the chops while the chops are in the oven.

Serves 4.

  4 bone-in rib loin pork chops 1½ inches thick (about 12 oz each)
  ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  ½ cup Kosher salt (Diamond Crystal), or 6 tbsp Morton Kosher Salt, or ¼ cup salt
  ground black pepper
  1 tbsp vegetable oil
  3 tbsp unsalted butter
  1 small onion, diced small
  1 medium rib of celery, diced small
  ½ tsp salt
  2 tsp garlic, minced or pressed
  2 tsp minced fresh thyme
  1 tbsp minced fresh parsley
  2 cups bread cubes (¼ inch cubes) from 1 baguette
  2 tbsp heavy cream
  1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1. FOR THE CHOPS: Cut a small pocket through the side of each chop. Dissolve the sugar and salt in 6 cups of cold water inn a gallon-size, zipper-lock plastic bag. Add the pork chops and seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Refrigerate until fully seasoned, about 1 hour.

2. FOR THE STUFFING: Melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until the foaming subsides. Add the onion, celery, and salt and cook until the vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and herbs and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a medium bowl, add the bread cubes, cream, and pepper, and toss well to combine. Using a rubber spatula, press the stuffing lightly against the sides of the bowl until it comes together.

3. TO STUFF, SEASON, AND COOK THE CHOPS: Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position, place a shallow roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet on the rack, and heat the oven to 450°. Remove the chops from the brine, rinse, and pat dry with paper towels. Place one quarter of the stuffing (about 1/3 cup) in the pocket of each pork chop. Season the chops with pepper.

4. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet over high heat until shimmering. Lay the chops in the skillet and cook until well browned and a nice crust has formed, about 3 minutes. Turn the chops over with tongs and cook until well browned and a nice crust has formed on the second side, 2 to 3 minutes longer.

5. Using the tongs, transfer the chops to the preheated pan in the oven. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the stuffing registers 130°, about 15 minutes, turning the chops over once halfway through the cooking time. Transfer the chops to a platter, tent loosely with foil, and let rest at least 5 minutes. Check the internal temperature; it should register 145°.