Fennel lends a sweet, aniselike flavor to these pork chops. To prepare fennel for cooking, remove the green stems and leaves; if desired, reserve them to flavor or garnish other dishes. Discard the outer layer of the bulb if it is tough and cut away any discolored areas. Cut the bulb in half lengthwise and remove the base of the core if it is thick and solid. Gently separate the layers with your hands and rinse well, then slice the bulb as directed.
2 Tbs. olive oil
4 boneless pork chops, each 6 oz.
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 Tbs. herbes de Provence
2 fennel bulbs, sliced 1⁄4 inch thick
2 red, yellow or orange bell peppers, seeded and cut into slices 1⁄4 inch thick
Juice of 2 oranges
1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
In a deep fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the herbes de Provence, pressing the herbs into the meat. Cook the chops until browned underneath and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 140°F for medium, about 8 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the fennel and bell peppers to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the orange juice, increase the heat to high and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Return the chops to the pan and baste with the sauce. Garnish with the parsley. Serve immediately.