Because the chops aren't thick, the braising time is quick, but the flavors are deep. We went full-tilt New England here, with maple syrup and crisp apple cider; adding apples punctuates our point.
Pat pork chops dry with a paper towel, and season on both sides with salt and pepper.
In a large skillet with lid over medium-high heat, add oil and brown chops on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove chops to a plate.
Lower heat to medium and add onions. Stir often, cooking until softened and browned around the edges, about 5 minutes.
Stir in garlic, thyme, and bay leaves; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add apple cider, chicken stock, and maple syrup, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan, and bring to a boil.
Lower to a simmer. Stir in apples. Return chops to pan, nestling into onions and apples. Cover; cook about 15 minutes. (Pork will be cooked through and tender.)
Remove chops and arrange on serving plates.
Remove thyme stems and bay leaves from sauce. Raise heat to high; cook sauce until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover chops with sauce and serve immediately.