Gravy: In a small saucepan set over medium heat, add the butter. Once melted, add the onions and sugar to the pan and sweat, stirring occasionally until wilted and well caramelized, about 18 to 20 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme to the pan and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the flour to the pan and stir to make a roux, about 2 to 3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the cognac and once nearly evaporated, 1 minute, add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer the gravy for 15 minutes and season with the salt and pepper. Makes 1 cup.
Sweet Potatoes: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Wash the sweet potatoes and peel. Chop the sweet potatoes into 1-inch pieces and place in a roasting pan. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with the salt and pepper. Place the potatoes in the oven and roast until tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. In a large 12-inch saute pan, add the butter and brown sugar. When the butter begins to boil with the sugar, add the pecans and the sweet potatoes. Continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until the potatoes are well glazed, about 3 minutes.
Pork Chops: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Set a large 12-inch saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil to the pan and once hot, place the pork chops in the pan. Sear the pork chops until well caramelized, about 5 minutes. Turn over and sear on the second side for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the stovetop and place in the oven. Roast the pork chops until an instant-read thermometer inserted registers 150 degrees F, about 10 to 12 minutes for medium. Remove the chops from the oven and serve with the glazed sweet potatoes and the caramelized onion gravy. Garnish with chopped parsley and chopped pecans.
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch, published by William and Morrow, 1993.