The 'Country Cooker'
A Pressure Fryer for the Cook who wants KFC at Home!
Please note: All credit for this incredible find goes to our good member, 'Lets Party'
The "Country Cooker" was developed in 1975 by former Kentucky Fried Chicken Executive Vice President, Kent E. Prestwich; who had been a direct employee of the KFC Corporation throughout the 1960's.
Interestingly, the middle 1970's was a notable era in KFC's history... as it was a time when Colonel Sanders had become highly critical of certain changes the Corporation had made to many of his recipes (especially his chicken and gravy) since the Heublein buyout of '71. Unbelieveably, they actually tried to sue Colonel Sanders for some of these legitimate criticisms (And in a win for "common sense", the Corporation lost).
In fact, by 1975 the quality of the food had slipped to such an extent that even Heublein/KFC Execs started to comment (privately) on the issue, and official KFC Food Preparation Manuals actually ALLOWED the "zinging" of Original Recipe Breading Flour, in order to "boost" the flavor of the product once again! Apparently, improvements were made beginning in 1976, and by 1979 Colonel Sanders was once again declaring that the chicken was of an "acceptable standard" (He never accepted the Corporate-Gravy product however).
So, in the middle of all this, came the "Country Cooker"... The very first Pressure Fryer, which was specifically designed for use "at home". It also came out with an advertising angle that implied that it was for all those folks who still wanted Kentucky Fried Chicken, but cooked from their own kitchen!
Indeed, A quick flick through the accompanying manual confirms that the processes and cooking procedures of this unit match precisely those of the Kentucky Fried Chicken Company (Pre 1971, when the old 16 Quart "Pots" were dumped in favor of Industrial Commercial Pressure Fryers); and if there are any further doubts about this, then a thorough reading of Colonel Sanders' 1960's Patents will "seal the deal", bringing it all into perspective...
Yes, there can be no doubt that the release of this fascinating product (along with a container of "Gourmet Breading Flour" containing aromatic "Herbs & Spices"!), would have disturbed KFC Execs enormously... There can also be no doubt that they would have at least consulted with their army of litigious solicitors over this matter... But, this is only an "educated" guess, on my part. Wink
I do not know how long this Pressure Fryer was in production for, but I can say that after 1976, there is no further mention of the product in archived Newspapers online. The actual Trademark for the product - which was taken out on May 13th, 1975 - was finally cancelled in 1985. But this does not mean that it had been selling commercially for that whole period...
Well, once again - thanks to our good members - TCK has revealed yet more "hidden history" related to the KFC Corporation. I sincerely hope you enjoy reading about this awesome find... as well as fantasising about discovering a full container of the actual "Gourmet Breading Flour" that originally went with the "Country Cooker"!
And if you just happen to stumble across some in your travels... remember 'ole TC, eh? And send me a PM Smile We'll send that sucker off to a lab for spectral analysis quicker than you can say, "Kentucky Fried Chicken"!
The 10 Quart "Country Cooker", including color Manual...