The apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree because Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) founder Colonel Harland Sanders’ nephew Lee Cummings has taken chicken to another level with Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken. Cummings introduced his “Famous Recipe Chicken” in 1966, four years after KFC’s sale in 1962, in Harold’s Take Home restaurant which he and Harold Omer opened in Lima, Ohio. Late in the same year in Columbus, Ohio, Cummings and Omer opened the very first franchise.
In 1967, a fifth franchise was put up in Springfield, Ohio followed by units in Dayton, Cincinnati and Kalamazoo, Michigan. By the year 1972, there were over 100 franchise units of Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken which begun with its 1970 international opening of three franchise units in Trinidad. Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken chain counted 125 franchised location units and 29 company-owned stores in May 2003.
Today, the casual dining restaurant chain has 142 locations in 13 states all across the United States, with the majority of these restaurants in the southern states and the Midwest. Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken has franchise units in Jordan and Canada as well. Headquartered in Florida’s Fort Walton Beach, Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken specialties include chicken, of course, cooked in three delicious ways, biscuits, and home-style side dishes.
A Whole New Chicken Experience
Chicken is chicken, until you taste Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken. Then it’s a whole new experience. Famous Recipe is pressured fried chicken, but not before it’s hand-breaded and honey dipped to give chicken a mouthwatering flavor. Oven Roast chicken baked in its own juices, high on protein and low in carbohydrates. And then there’s Crispy and Spicy, honey-dipped with a blend of special spices and fried to give chicken a bold crisp taste.
Jumbo Breast Strips are all white chicken breast strips cooked in the same scrumptious way as the Famous Recipe and served with dipping sauces while Jumbo Boneless Wings are chunky pieces of all white chicken breast meat in a marinade of spicy seasonings and double breaded before they are pressure cooked. Chicken fried steak, chicken sandwiches, chicken pot pie, and specialty chicken items such as chicken gizzards or livers served with corn muffins or buttermilk biscuits.
Southern Homestyle Side Dishes
At Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken restaurants, diners have a wide selection of side dishes that are prepared the Southern way:
- Green beans
- Potato salad
- Macaroni and cheese
- Corn on the cob
- Whipped potatoes with gravy
- Baked beans
- Potato wedges
- Corn muffins
- Buttermilk biscuits
- Hot apples (seasonal and by location)
A diner can choose any two of these homestyle side dishes when they order the following specialty items:
- Country Fried Steak Meal: two pieces of chopped and breaded beef steaks with gravy, corn muffin or baked buttermilk biscuit.
- Chicken Pot Pie: mixed vegetables and chicken chunks in a creamy sauce topped by a flaky and buttery crust that all but melts in the mouth.
- Shrimp Meal: eight shrimp pieces in cocktail sauce with buttermilk biscuit or corn muffin.
- Fried Pickles: breaded spears of dill pickles available in 3-piece or 8-piece orders.
- Jalapeño Poppers: available in a single order of two pieces, these are jalapeño peppers in light potato breading with cheddar cheese.
Excellent Combos and Sandwiches
Some of Lee’s Combos come in the following servings:
- Two-piece: a thigh and/or leg, 1 side, buttermilk biscuit, and soft drink (medium).
- 3 Jumbo Breast Strips: three jumbo chicken breast strips, one side, buttermilk biscuit, and soft drink (medium).
- Breast: one piece chicken breast, one side, buttermilk biscuit, and soft drink (medium).
Lee’s sandwiches include the Famous Jumbo Mini (jumbo strip of chicken breast, chipotle mayonnaise, and shredded lettuce on 8-grain roll), the BBQ Jumbo Mini (jumbo strip of chicken breast, dipped Lee’s house honey-barbecue and slices of dill pickles on 8-grain roll), the Buffalo Jumbo Mini (jumbo strip of chicken breast dipped in Buffalo sauce, shredded lettuce, 8-grain roll), and Country Fried Steak (chopped breaded beef steak with lettuce or gravy on white bun).
Between eight and 20 pieces of Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken are sold in one box with just chicken alone and no side dishes. And, although dessert selections vary by location, Strawberry Shortcake Cup and Boston Crème Cup are always mainstays in Lee’s menus. Catering services are available in several locations. Unsweetened and sweet varieties of ice tea are freshly brewed everyday and served alongside Pepsi products.
Serving Communities Through Donations
Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken restaurants serve the residents of the communities where they are located not only with their “Daily Deals” which begin at $4.49 but by donating food items to groups, organizations, and other entities that request them in writing three weeks in advance. Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken has the Fundraiser Night and the Coupon Booklet fundraising programs for non-profit organizations.