Yield: approximately 4 servings
4 slices bacon
1 cup finely chopped cooking apple
½ cup finely chopped onion
½ cup finely chopped celery
1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup cornbread stuffing mix
½ cup chicken broth
4 (1¼-inch thick) bone-in pork rib chops, trimmed (about 1 pound each)
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet, keeping drippings in pan. Set bacon aside to cool.
2. Add apple, onion, and celery to skillet; cook until apple mixture begins to soften, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. In a small bowl, combine salt and pepper. Crumble bacon, and add it to the apple mixture in skillet with ½ teaspoon salt mixture, stuffing mix, and chicken broth; stir until liquid is absorbed.
4. Using a small sharp knife, cut a horizontal pocket in the side of each pork chop, about 3 inches wide and 2 inches deep. Open pockets and season with 1 teaspoon salt mixture. Gently stuff about ½ cup apple mixture into each pocket. Secure each pocket with a wooden pick coated in nonstick cooking spray. Season outside of pork chops with remaining 1 teaspoon salt mixture.
5. Preheat oven to 325°. Spray a broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
6. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add 2 pork chops; cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes on each side. Place browned pork chops on prepared broiler pan. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and pork chops. Pour ½ cup water into bottom of broiler pan.
7. Bake until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of pork chops registers 145°, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Lightly cover with foil; let stand for 15 minutes before serving.
Note: Pork chops can be stuffed and refrigerated for up to 4 hours before cooking. Be sure to thoroughly cool the apple mixture before stuffing in pork chops.