Heat oven to
450F (230C). Have ready a large shallow roasting pan big enough to hold
the 8 birds with a little space between. Wash Cornish hens and dry well
inside and out with paper towelling. Sprinkle inside of each with salt
and pepper. Add a small piece of bay leaf, a sliver of garlic, a clove,
a slice of onion, half a slice of lemon, a sprig of celery leaves and a
sprig of parsley to the inside of each bird. Tie legs and wings close to
bodies and set birds in lightly oiled roasting pan. Lay a half strip of
bacon over the breast of each bird. Add onion quarters, giblets, chicken
stock and vermouth to the pan.
minutes, at 450F (230C). Turn heat to 350F (175C) and continue roasting
until the birds are tender, about 45 minutes. Baste occasionally and
remove bacon for last 15 minutes cooking. Heat 3/4 cup water, vinegar, 6
cloves and cinnamon in a saucepan until boiling white birds are cooking.
Turn down heat and simmer 10 minutes. Strain and return liquid to
saucepan. Add cranberry sauce and heat and stir until blended. Set aside