How to Make French Pork Chops—Sauté-Deglaze-Serve Style

Here’s an easy French recipe for pork chops that takes less than 30 minutes to make.

My Pork Chops with Orange and Thyme. As seen in Relish Magazine.

My Pork Chops with Orange and Thyme. As seen in Relish Magazine.

I always found it strange that in Amerique profonde, hog capital of the universe, you could rarely find a great pork dish on a fine-dining menu. Perhaps it was so ubiquitous, the meat just didn’t seem “special” enough. Of course, it didn’t help that pork became produced, in the latter half of the 20th century, as the “other white meat”–a lean and mean alternative to chicken, rather than the amazing, full-flavored, fat-rimmed beauty that it was naturally meant to be.

That’s changed a little in recent years, with chefs going the locavore route, eschewing jetted-in anything for animals raised in our region’s backyard. Plus, it’s easier to find pork that’s raised to taste like pork—in a chop, you want marbling, you want a rim of fat. You want juiciness. Lusciousness. You want it to taste like pork.

So–head to a Whole Foods or another market that sells naturally raised, hormone-antibiotic free pork (organic if you can get it) and enjoy this winning way with chops, and remember all the great things a pork chop can be.

The recipe appears in the Bonne Femme Cookbook; it also starred in Relish Magazine a couple years ago. Enjoy!

French Method for Cooking Pork Chops: Pork Chops with Orange and Thyme
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
This is a classic "sauté-deglaze-serve" recipe; that is, 30-minute cooking at its true-to-France best.
  • 4 bone-in pork loin chops (1/2 inch thick)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped (about ¼ cup)
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or ½ teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  1. Season both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, turning once, until slightly pink inside (145°F), 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the pork chops to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.
  2. Add the shallot to the pan and sauté briefly, until translucent. Add the orange and lemon juices, stirring with a wire whisk to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and boil until the liquid is nearly gone—this should take just a minute or two, depending on the heat and your pan size. Whisk in the cream. Boil until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Whisk in the thyme and orange zest.
  3. Spoon the sauce over the pork chops and serve.

Great serve-along suggestions:

Any-Night Baked Rice is a shoo-in with this. Start the rice before you start the chops, and it will all be done pretty much at the same time.

Any-Night Baked Rice







• If you’re entertaining, why not serve a cheese course after your meal. Here’s how to put one together.

Photo by Richard Swearinger.







• Dessert? Pull out slices of my Chocolate Pound Cake that you have in the freezer. Or at least you should have it in the freezer…for a night like tonight.








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2 comments to How to Make French Pork Chops—Sauté-Deglaze-Serve Style

  • This looks delicious. I usually use dijon mustard in my pan sauce, but orange and lemon sounds like an especially wonderful change up. btw, for Christmas I received a good thermometer and I am over-the-moon – it takes all the guess work out of cooking pork.

    Your suggested menu is so yummy.

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