This dinner was surprisingly easy to make. I started out by brining the chops for a couple of hours. It's better to brine for a longer period of time, but I just didn't think ahead enough! I figured a couple of hours was better than not at all. Before I discovered brining, my chops would always come out dry and forgettable. Brining them really makes a huge difference in that they come out so unbelievably tender and juicy.
While they are brining, I put together the glaze. I take my favorite caste iron pan and pour in a little olive oil. I saute 3 cloves of garlic, 1 large shallot (both chopped), salt and pepper, and the grated zest of 1 lemon, all for about 2 minutes. I didn't have any sherry, so I added a splash of white wine that was open. After another couple of minutes, I add about 1/2 cup of chicken broth and 1/3 cup of honey. I let all this simmer until it cooks down a bit. The last two things I mix in are about 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard and about the same of Tarragon. Turn the heat off and let this sit.
From start to finish, this glaze should take you about 15 minutes tops. Now, I remove the chops from the brine and rinse an dry them off. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on them and a little pepper. I have this really cool skillet that has raised bars on the bottom, so that the meat doesn't sit flat on the bottom. It also creates the lines in the same way a grill does. You can cook these out on the grill if you have the time and good weather.
I cook them for about 5 minutes on each side. The pan is pretty hot so you can get them to get nice and brown. After I turn them the first time, I start putting some of the glaze on. When both sides are browned, I put all the chops in the pan with the glaze and coat them. They will need to finish cooking in the glaze. I turn the heat on low and cover the pan. They should cook on low for about another 10 minutes.
I cooked up some green beans, and had some left over acorn squash from the other night that I reheated.
So there you have it. Other than the time it took to brine, the whole meal came together in less than an hour. Mind you, it took the fam a little more than 5 minutes to eat it! The flavors in the glaze are really delicious. I would definitely use it on grilled chicken or even ribs. I hope you will try it some night.