This is great when you're getting over having a cold -- or at other times, too. If you don't like it too spicy, reduce the amount of cayenne pepper. The salsa is definitely optional. You can alter the recipe a great deal just by changing the vegetable combination. I cook the chicken in the microwave because it's quick and easy. I use canned chicken broth and chop the vegetables fresh, though you could buy the veggies frozen. I buy jars of minced garlic to have on hand for other cooking. Makes a good-sized potful.