Updated Wednesday, December 8th, 2010
Total Time: 25
Yield: 6 servings
Because the pork chops aren't thick, the braising time is quick, but the flavors are deep. We went full-tilt New England here, with maple syrup and crisp apple cider; adding apples punctuates our point.
Pat pork chops dry with a paper towel, and season on both sides with salt and pepper.
In a large skillet with lid over medium-high heat, add oil and brown chops on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove chops to a plate.
Lower heat to medium and add onions. Stir often, cooking until softened and browned around the edges, about 5 minutes.
Stir in garlic, thyme, and bay leaves; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add apple cider, chicken stock, and maple syrup, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan, and bring to a boil.
Lower to a simmer. Stir in apples. Return chops to pan, nestling them into onions and apples. Cover, cook about 15 minutes. (Pork will be cooked through and tender.)
Remove chops and arrange on serving plates.
Remove thyme stems and bay leaves from sauce. Raise heat to high; cook sauce until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover chops with sauce and serve immediately.
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