Remove giblets and neck from turkey; discard, if desired. Rinse turkey thoroughly with cold water; pat dry. Tie ends of legs to tail with cord, or tuck flap of skin around tail. Lift wing tips up and over back, and tuck under bird. Stuff cavities of turkey with quartered apple, onion, and parsley sprigs. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat.
Combine apple butter, sugar, mustard, and nutmeg in a small bowl; stir well. Spread apple butter mixture under loosened skin and rub into the body cavity. Sprinkle bird with 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and ground red pepper.
Pour broth and enough water to equal 3 cups liquid into the bottom of the pan. Place turkey on a rack coated with cooking spray; place rack in a shallow roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer into meaty part of thigh, making sure not to touch bone. Bake at 325° for 3 hours or until thermometer reaches 160°. Cover turkey loosely with foil; let stand 10 minutes. Discard skin.
Remove turkey from pan, reserving 1 1/2 cups cooking liquid; reserve remaining cooking liquid for another use. Place turkey on a platter. Set aside; keep warm. Pour reserved 1 1/2 cups cooking liquid into a zip-top plastic bag. Snip off 1 corner of bag; drain liquid into measuring cup, reserving 1 cup of broth, and stopping before the fat layer reaches the opening. Drain fat layer into another bowl, reserving 2 tablespoons. Discard remaining fat.
Combine reserved fat and flour in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and stir until smooth. Stir in reserved 1 cup broth, cider, and milk, and bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered 3 minutes, stirring constantly until thick and bubbly. Stir in remaining salt and black pepper. Serve gravy with skinned turkey.
I have made this recipe for years. I generally make a larger turkey, so I follow the cooking time listed on the turkey's label. (I've even cooked the turkey on my gas grill outside). This recipe is delicious, creating a moist bird with no added fat. It's been a hit for years. I use more chicken broth in the pan, and I add celery to the apples and onion in the bird. I then make turkey soup out of the carcass.
This turkey was fantastic! I don't cook turkey all that often, so I wanted to follow a recipe. I will definitely make this one again. The apple butter sauce under the skin is very flavourful. I was a little worried about the gravy... it's very pale. Don't worry though, it tastes great!
The only downside was that the turkey took 5 hours to cook instead of the 3 hours posted in the recipe.
Been making this turkey for ten years. A perfect bird! The last three years, I've been cooking on a Big Green Egg, which has only made it better. Brined it beginning last year in the apple cider brine and even better still. Even without the smoker/slow-cooker or the brine, this is a phenomenal recipe. Frozen or fresh, high-end free-range/organic bird or mass-market frozen, it's been perfect every time.