THE RECIPE BOX: Serve hearty chicken while you're preparing Thanksgiving dishes

Hearty chicken stew is the perfect dish to warm you up.

Hearty chicken stew is the perfect dish to warm you up.

I did it, I finally did it. I finally got brave enough to throw a bunch of ingredients into the Crock-Pot to see what happens.

First of all, I surprised myself and, second of all, we didn't have to order pizza. We have a rule in our house, if we make something and it is just horrible, then it's no big deal, we just order pizza. I'll be honest, I think in the three years Kevin and I have been married, we've only ordered pizza twice.

But what did happen was a delightful, hearty chicken stew.

I know it's the Sunday before Thanksgiving and I'm not giving you an awesome sweet potato recipe or a melt-in-your-mouth pecan pie recipe (which I do have a recipe for by the way).

But what I am giving you is a recipe to put in the Crock-Pot -- let it cook for six hours and you'll have something to serve while you are preparing for the Thanksgiving Day meal. Who doesn't need a hot soup or stew to serve while family is in from out of town?

My favorite part of this Crock-Pot adventure was that I took frozen chicken and put it directly into the Crock-Pot. I don't know about you, but I am the world's worst about remembering to lay some frozen meat out to thaw.

Happy Thanksgiving, and let me add that I'm thankful for all of the Recipe Box readers!

Hearty chicken stew

Start to finish: 6 hours and 20 minutes (20 minutes active time)

Three to four frozen skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Two 12-ounce bags of mixed vegetables

One can of cream of mushroom soup

One can of cream of chicken soup

1 cup of uncooked rice

One package of Crock-Pot chicken seasoning mix, any brand

Half of a bouillon chicken cube

1 cup hot of water

pepper to taste

garlic powder to taste, optional

Follow the directions on the chicken seasoning mix and pour into the bottom of the Crock-Pot.

Pour in both bags of frozen vegetables and stir the seasoning mix and vegetables together thoroughly.

Place your frozen chicken breasts on top of the vegetable mix.

Pour in the cup of rice and stir.

Mix the chicken bouillon cube half with the 1 cup of hot water and stir until the cube has dissolved.

In a separate bowl, mix the cream of chicken and mushroom soups together and add the dissolved bouillon broth in and stir well.

Pour the mixture on top of the chicken, adding garlic powder and pepper to taste.

Cover and cook on high for six hours.

Tip: Try cooking the rice separately and serving the stew on top of the rice.