Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken
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|Founder||Lee Cummings, Harold Omer|
|Headquarters||Fort Walton Beach, Florida|
|Chuck Cooper, Jim Dooley|
|Parent||Lee's Famous Recipes Inc.|
Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken is a casual dining franchise founded in 1966 specializing in chicken, homestyle sides, and biscuits. There are currently 142 Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken locations in 13 states across America. The majority of Lee's stores are in the Midwestern and Southern United States, but Lee's also has international locations in Canada and Jordan. Headquarters are located in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
Lee Cummings, the nephew of Colonel Harland Sanders (founder of KFC), spent much of his childhood in the kitchen of his Henryville, Indiana home. Lee hit the road with his uncle Harland in 1952, selling their own special blend of spices along with their famous pressure cookers, which later became part of KFC's "Secret Recipe". In three years, Lee and the Colonel opened over 800 KFC stores.
After the sale of KFC in 1962, Lee Cummings started developing his recipe, later to be known as "Famous Recipe." In 1966, Lee along with Harold Omer started "Harold's Take-Home" in Lima, Ohio where Lee first introduced his Famous Recipe Chicken. The word spread about this great new recipe and later that year the first franchise unit was opened in Columbus, Ohio.
In 1970 Lee's Famous Recipe went international with the opening of three units in Trinidad and by 1972 there were more than 100 units in the thriving chain. By 1979, the number of units had doubled to 200 and in 1981 Lee sold the chain to Shoney's Restaurants in Nashville, Tennessee. Shoney's continued to operate Lee's along with their own Captain D's and Shoney's Restaurants until 1995, when Lee's was sold to RTM Restaurant Group in Atlanta, Georgia.
In May 2003, the chain had 29 company owned locations and 125 franchised locations. In October 2003, Lee's Famous Recipes Inc. purchased the chain from RTM. In April 2013, Famous Recipe Group, LLC purchased the chain from Lee's Famous Recipes, Inc. FRG has aggressive franchising plans for the brand.
Lee's menu consists of homestyle foods.
The Famous Recipe Chicken is the hallmark of the Lee's brand. It gets its flavor from Famous Recipe spices and is hand breaded, honey dipped, and pressure cooked to seal in the famous flavor. Chicken is prepared three ways: Famous Recipe, a more flavorful Spicy variety, and the more tender Oven Roast.
In addition to the three major chicken varieties, Lee's also serves Jumbo Breast Strips and Jumbo Boneless Wings. The Jumbo Breast Strips are big, all-white-meat breast strips that are prepared the same way as their Famous Recipe Chicken. They are served with a dipping sauce. The Jumbo Boneless Wings are chunks of all-white-meat chicken breasts marinated in a spicy blend of seasonings, then they are double breaded and pressure cooked.
The sandwich offered at Lee's Famous Recipe is the Jumbo mini which is a breast strip dipped in your choice of sauce and served with a wheat bun, Honey Barbecue chicken is pulled chicken on a bun, Jumbo breast strip sandwich includes two jumbo breast strips served with lettuce on a bun, and a country fried steak sandwich served with one steak and dipped in gravy.
Country sides include Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Baked Beans, Coleslaw, Corn on-the-cob, Country Rice, Red beans and Rice, Potato salad, Macaroni and Cheese, Potato wedges, Hot apples, Jalapeño pepper, Broccoli Pasta salad and buttermilk biscuits.
Sides are available in Large (1 pint) or Individual sizes (6oz.). Biscuits are available individually or by the ½ dozen. Chicken is served as a meal with sides and a biscuit or a snack with just chicken and a biscuit. Liver and Gizzards are served in a half pint cup, or a pint cup.
Small meals are available with one, two, or three pieces of mixed chicken, two individual sides and a biscuit. Liver and Gizzard meals are served as a half-pint with two individual sides and a biscuit.
Large Meals include an eight piece with two large sides, and four biscuits, a twelve piece with three large sides and six biscuits, a sixteen piece with four large sides and eight biscuits, and a twenty piece with five large sides and ten biscuits. A twelve piece strip meal with two large sides and four biscuits. Catering is also available at participating locations. Eight through twenty pieces of chicken can also be sold as a box which includes just the chicken alone.
Pepsi products are served along with sweet or unsweetened ice tea brewed fresh daily.