Fennel Crusted Air Fried Pork Chop

Updated: Mar 26, 2020

This is no ordinary pork chop. Between the pungent smokey flavors in the fennel based marinade, the creative cooking method to crispy yet juicy perfection and the hearty sausage and vegetable gravy-like topping, you are guaranteed to impress!

The fennel in these Air-Fried Pork Chops adds a warm bright fragrance to a classic pork chop. I am normally scared to cook pork for fear of overcooking them but I NAILED these. The air fryer keeps the moisture sealed in while crisping the outside to perfection. I used a meat thermometer to ensure they didn't over cook and with the air fryer it is so easy to check the temperature of the meat. I was able to use an electric thermometer that I could place in the chops while in the air fryer but a basic one works just as well!

These pork chops are perfectly delicious, with or without the topping but I love the extravagance and delicacy the sausage and peppers add! If you opt to go without the topping I recommend sautéing the shallots with the chicken broth and red wine vinegar still for a little extra gravy on top.


Fennel Crusted Air-fried Pork Chop


Ingredients:

Plain Pork Chop

  • 4 small bone in pork chops or 2 large chops (1-1.5 lbs)

  • 1/2 tbsp fennel seeds

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • Salt & pepper

  • Optional: 1/2 tsp liquid smoke

Sausage, Pepper & Onion Topping

  • 1 shallot, diced

  • 1 cup chicken broth

  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar

  • 100g mixed bell peppers

  • 6oz tomatoes (cherry, grape or diced)

  • 2 chicken sausages, diced, if in casings then casings removed first


Directions:

For Plain Pork Chops

  1. Toast fennel seeds in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.

  2. Combine fennel, paprika, olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper and liquid smoke in a small bowl.

  3. Rub spice mixture into the surface of all of the pork chops.

  4. Place pork chops in a bag and place in fridge to marinate for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours, flip the bag halfway through marinating process.

  5. Remove pork chops from fridge 15 minutes prior to cooking.

  6. Place pork chops in air fryer at 360F for 12-14 minutes (could be longer or shorter depending on thickness of chop). Open the air fryer and use tongs to flip the pork chops halfway through cooking.

  7. The pork chops are done when they reach an internal temperature of 145F. To confirm this I placed a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the chop and monitored while they cooked in the air fryer. If you don't have an electronic thermometer you can use a manual thermometer and check the temperature at about 10 minutes.

  8. Once the chops are done, remove them from the air fryer and place them on a plate loosely tented with tin foil, allowing to rest at least 5 minutes. This ensures the chops stay nice and juicy.

  9. Serve warm over a plate of creamy mashed potatoes.

For Sausage, Pepper & Onion Topping

  1. Dice bell peppers, shallots, chicken sausage and tomatoes into bite size pieces. I recommend this step be done while the pork chops are cooking.

  2. Heat skillet over medium heat and spray with nonstick spray. Add in chicken sausage and vegetables to sauté until softened, 3-4 minutes. I recommend moving on to this step while the pork chops are resting.

  3. Add in red wine vinegar and deglaze the pan using a wooden spoon.

  4. For more of a sauce, remove about 1/4 of the mixture and blend roughly with 1/4-1/2 cup of chicken broth. Return blended mixture to the pan along with any juices on the pork chop plates. Allow the sauce to cook together for another 2-3 minutes.

  5. Depending on the desired consistency of the sauce, add additional chicken broth if necessary.

  6. Scoop the mixture over the warm pork chops as a sauce.

Nutrition facts provided for both plain pork chop and for topping mixture.


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