Deep-fried pork chops in breadcrumbs
Clermont-Ferrand is, for me, one of France’s best-kept secrets. The city is largely built out of volcanic rock and is bustling with clubs, bars, interesting restaurants and students. The crew and I ate this dish on a Sunday lunchtime, sitting outside in a narrow street called Rue Saint Eutrope. I love deep-fried pork chops in breadcrumbs, it’s something we don’t really do in the UK.
Season the pork chops well with salt and pepper. Put the flour, egg and breadcrumbs in separate wide bowls. Dip each chop in flour, then egg and finally breadcrumbs, making sure each chop has a fairly thick coating of crumbs.
Pour the oil into a large saucepan – the exact amount will depend on the size of your pan but the oil should be about 5cm/2in deep. Heat the oil to 160–170C. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.) Preheat the oven to its lowest setting.
Deep-fry the chops, two at a time, for about 3–4 minutes on each side, depending on thickness, until deep golden-brown. Do not try to cook all of the chops at once or they won’t brown. Check that the internal temperature of the chop is about 71C using a meat thermometer. Drain the chops on a triple layer of kitchen paper and keep warm in a low oven while you cook the rest.
Once the chops are cooked, quickly (and carefully - it spits) deep-fry the parsley leaves in the hot oil and then transfer to drain on the kitchen paper.
Garnish the chops with the parsley and serve immediately while they are hot and crisp, with lemon wedges if you like and some peas on the side.