I've never been one to detox. The idea of a juice cleanse gives me chills, salads are a bore, and I'm downright offended when I see meal replacement shakes masquerading as actual sustenance. If anything, I'd rather just scale down to something simple after an indulgent meal: soup, a hunk of crusty bread, a slab of cheese, and two or three tangerines.
This meal epitomizes my moderation-and-not-deprivation mantra. Light and flaky white fish (I used cod, though you could use tilapia, halibut, catfish, or anything else, really) is married with the best of the waning season's flavors: the viscous kiss of maple, the licorice perfume of fennel, the savory, garlic-bitten chard. It's a delicious post-holiday meal that just so happens to be nutritionally sound.
No matter how much you indulge in the end of the year's holiday treats, it's important to remember that even after that extra helping of gravy-doused turkey or buttery mashed potatoes, starvation is not the answer. With flavorful and wholesome cooking, you can eat still complete meals without worrying about the dreaded unbuttoning of the pants.
In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix until well combined. Set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add the fennel and sauté for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The fennel should be nicely golden brown but still relatively firm. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and stir briefly before pouring in the chicken broth. Cover the skillet and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 10-15 minutes until almost all of the liquid is evaporated and the fennel is soft and tender. Adjust seasoning to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the garlic and sauté until golden and fragrant but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add the chard all at once to the pot and stir; it will wilt and shrink very quickly. Stir, ensuring it is coated in the oil, for 3-5 minutes, until the chard is dark-colored and fully wilted. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place the fillets in a glass baking dish and cover with the maple glaze, flipping the fillets over so that both sides are coated. Rub the glaze in before covering the dish with plastic wrap and placing in the refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the broiler on high. Place the fish on the upper oven rack and cook for 5-8 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets, until the fish is cooked through and flaky. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve the fillets with the braised fennel and Swiss chard and garnish lightly with the reserved fennel fronds.