Buttermilk-brined Deep Fried Pork Chops
With photos from Julia and Michael Laxer
Recently we took a look at a Panko Crusted Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Waffle Sandwich with Buffalo Wing Sauce as part of a fun carny sandwich challenge done in honour of all the crazy CNE food we are missing out on this year due to covid.
I had some leftover buttermilk and Panko so I decided to make some southern-style deep fried, breaded pork chops. These are delicious and depend on marinating the chops in a buttermilk brine so that they will be very tender.
We used bone-in pork chops. You can, of course, use boneless. You really want chops no more than 1/2 an inch thick.
To begin you want to put the chops into a buttermilk brine. Place the chops in a bowl and season liberally with kosher or sea salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Then toss the chops in 2 tablespoons of a hot sauce of your choosing. We used Yucatan Sunshine Habanero Pepper sauce.
Then pour in enough buttermilk to just cover the chops.
Let the chops sit, covered, in the fridge for 2-4 hours in the brine.
Before deep frying prepare three bowls.
In one place flour seasoned liberally with kosher or sea salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste, in one beat 2 or 3 eggs and in a third put your Panko.
Discard the buttermilk brine.
Dredge the pork chops in the flour blend, then the egg wash and then the Panko until coated evenly.
In a large saucepan heat around two inches of canola or vegetable oil to frying temperature. This can take some practice if you have never done it, but you want to get the oil bubbling but not too hot. It will take a few minutes to heat to the right temperature. You do not want to put the breaded chops into oil that is too cool as they come out oily, while too hot can burn the coating before the inside is fully cooked. If you do not deep fry often you may want to do a test run on one cutlet first.
This is also why you want your chops relatively thin so that the chicken is full cooked quickly. Remember, for the record Health Canada says you want to heat pork to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees.
Place your chops in the hot oil and deep fry them for around 4-5 minutes and then turn them once and deep fry for another 4-5 minutes on the other side. You want the chops to be spaced out in the pan, do not crowd them. They should not be touching or overly close in the oil. You will likely only be able to do 2 or 3 at a time so if your are making more just do them in batches.
You want the coating to come out crunchy and golden brown. If they are a little darker brown that is fine.
Let the chops sit for around 5 minutes before serving. These are terrific with coleslaw or rice and pair very nicely with rose or white wine. You will find the chops are remarkably moist and very tasty.