Rejoice in chicken and dumplings at Luella's Gospel Bird for Chicago Black Restaurant Week

Louisa Chu
Louisa Chu/Chicago Tribune

For Chicago Black Restaurant Week, Luella’s Gospel Bird chef de cuisine Michael Grant reinvented a chicken and dumplings dish so profound let's all join hands to pray together that we'll see it on the menu again.

Grant opened the small counter service restaurant in Bucktown in November with owner and executive chef Darnell Reed. It's rightfully become a destination fried chicken house of worship.

With the Black Restaurant Week special, however, Grant baptizes braised chicken tenders and velvety potato dumplings with a powerful demi-glace finished with a whisper of Crystal Hot Sauce.

The dumplings are inspired more by gnocchi, rather than classic biscuit dough, he said. That sauce, though, which starts with smoked chicken bones, carries such intensity that you may be tempted to commit mortal sins — like licking the cast iron plate.

The dish was supposed to be $12.19 (each Black Restaurant Week participant is incorporating “19” to represent this year), but I was only charged $12. Do note it's available lunch and dinner only.

Remember to order the biscuits that Grant bakes daily too.

Luella’s Gospel Bird, 2009 N. Damen Ave., 773-904-7704,

Chicago Black Restaurant Week runs through Feb. 17. For participating restaurants and menus, go to


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