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- On a cutting board or silicone mat, carefully cut a small pocket in the pork chop by laying the chop on its side and cutting horizontally, being careful not to cut all the way through the chop. Set aside. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped celery and onion, cooking until softened, approximately 5-6 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook about 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the sage and thyme. Add broth, apple cider and salt. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Uncover, stir, and continue cooking, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 30 minutes. While the rice is cooking, toast the walnuts in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant. Transfer to a plate to cool. Once the rice is cooked, stir in the walnuts, dates and chopped apple. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Stuff the pork chops with 1/2 cup of the wild rice stuffing and season both sides with salt and pepper.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add chops to skillet and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Turn the chops and continue cooking the other side until golden.
- Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for 10 minutes or until the pork chops are cooked through. The National Pork Board advises using the following temperature when preparing pork: cook pork chops to an internal temperature between 145 degrees F. (medium rare) to 160 degrees F. (medium), followed by a three-minute rest. Serve immediately.
- To make ahead and freeze, follow instructions all the way to the point of stuffing the chops. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then wrap in foil. Place the wrapped chops in a freezer bag and freeze up to 30 days. To cook, thaw completely and then cook according to the directions above.