This method uses charcoal, but the recipe also works well with gas grills. Purchase applewood chips from online purveyors such as www.springhillmerchants.com. Garnish the carved bird with apple slices, parsley, and sage. Brush the apple slices with lemon juice to prevent browning.
Remove and discard giblets and neck from turkey. Trim excess fat. Combine onion, apple, sage, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Stuff body cavity with onion mixture. Tie legs together with kitchen string. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under turkey. Brush turkey with oil; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cover breast with foil. Place turkey in a disposable aluminum foil pan.
To prepare the turkey for indirect grilling, preheat grill, heating one side to medium and leaving one side with no heat. Maintain temperature at 350°.
Place 1 cup wood chips on hot coals. Place pan on unheated side of grill. Cover and cook 45 minutes. Place remaining 1 cup wood chips on hot coals; cover and cook 45 minutes. Add coals as needed to maintain temperature at 350°. Remove foil from breast; cover and cook 35 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in meaty part of thigh registers 165°. Remove turkey from grill; let stand at least 30 minutes before carving. Discard onion mixture and skin.
Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour drippings from pan into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner. Drain drippings into a bowl, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat.
Place cider in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 3/4 cup (about 4 minutes). Add pan drippings and Make-Ahead Gravy; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 3 cups (about 5 minutes).
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Overall, this came out well, and my guests were happy. I liked the idea of grilling the turkey and having the oven free for other things. In the hands of an experienced grill-er, this might have been great, but it was too challenging a recipe for me, and I don't know if I would try it again. Somehow, the skin got way too dark way too fast. I saved it by lowering the heat and covering the whole thing with foil, but the meat right under the skin was dry and almost jerky-like. But, some of my guests just loved the dry, smoky meat, and for those who didn't, the rest of the meat was juicy and delicious. The pan drippings were a total loss. I had the turkey on a rack, so it didn't burn, but the drippings turned to black sludge. And the make-ahead gravy was really bland without them.
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