Casserole Call: Starliner Diner

Corn Star

By
From the October 20, 2011 edition

Cornbread Crusted Chicken Casserole ($12)

The draw: A game-changing chicken pot pie creatively made with cornbread and aroused by Latinizing garlic

Dig in: This two-person serving of out-of-this-world deliciousness is proof you can go home-cooking again, but can improve the holy hell out of it too. Yeah, that’s the kind of inspired food we Starliner-struck fans have come to rely on from this consistently terrific and consistently fun alterna-diner.

The 4-C shoots out in a huge soup bowl domed with a beautiful lid of soothing, golden browned cornbread baked onto the bowl’s rim. Beneath this just-sweet, pillowy and puffy “sopping up” layer are hacked-up chunks of chicken, cap-riffing charred corn kernels, ballast-adding roasted spuds, carrots, onions and celery. Cradling all those tummy-loving goodies is a creamy and crazy great chicken gravy that (drawing on Starliner’s Cuban and Mexican roots) is goosed up with racy herbs and garlic and is, thankfully, light years away from pasty.