Special equipment: a piping bag with a large tip, optional, and a deep-frying thermometer
For the chops: Insert a knife at the top end of each chop with the blade facing away from the bone and towards the fat rim. In a sweeping motion, make a pocket inside each chop without carrying the knife completely through the rim of fat, leaving about a 2-inch hole. Season the chops on both sides with a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
For the stuffing. In a large bowl, gently combine the crumbled muffins, celery, cranberries, onion, parsley, butter, paprika, sage and enough stock to moisten it. This should not be drippy wet or cakey dry. Taste and season with a pinch salt if needed and a few grinds of pepper.
Put the stuffing in a piping bag with the largest tip (or use a plastic bag and cut a corner). Squeeze the stuffing into the center of each pork chop and secure the hole with a toothpick.
For the dredge: Set up a dredging station with the flour in one shallow dish and the buttermilk in a second shallow dish. Season each with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Dredge the chops in the flour first, then in the buttermilk and finally back in the flour. Rest the chops in the flour or on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
For the sauce. In a small saucepot on medium heat, add the jellied cranberry sauce, chicken stock and honey. Cook until the cranberry dissolves and the liquid reduces and becomes slightly thicker, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and stir in the butter until it melts. Taste and season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Keep warm.
To fry and serve: Using a Dutch oven, your heaviest pot or a deep fryer, bring at least 4 inches of oil to 370 degrees F. Gently place the chops into the oil without overcrowding; you may need to do this in batches. The temperature will lower while frying; hold it at 350 degrees F. Cook until the chops reach an internal stuffing temperature of 150 degrees F, 10 to 14 minutes. Remove to a wire rack, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and gently cover with aluminum foil, allowing for air to escape so the chops don't steam. Rest the chops 5 minutes like this.
Serve with a drizzle of the sauce.
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